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I Moved Your Cheese: For Those who Refuse to Live as Mice in Someone Else's Maze - A Review

Updated on April 14, 2016

Book Summary


I Moved Your Cheese: For Those who Refuse to live as Mice in Someone Else’s Maze


Deepak Malhotra


Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.


Motivation, Self-help, Business behaviour

In Brief:

Granted, this book may be like other short, self-help, motivational books; but what I love about this one in particular is it’s easy to read and deceptively child-like writing style.

At the very beginning the story mentions the ‘good book’. From my understanding, the ‘good book’ refers to ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Dr Spencer Johnson (see below for further details).

It explains the journeys of three mice. Their journeys are somewhat connected to each other, but they each have different goals.

The story leads me to question the goals I have in life. It makes me wonder if the goals I have are actually going to make me happy or if I’m pursuing them because someone had told me to do so. It shows that people can be successful but not necessarily happy because of the success acquired.

I love how the story makes you think!

Discussion questions are given after the story to help foster continued reflection and discussion. This is a nice touch because it probes you into thinking deeper. It also helps you apply the concepts you have learned.

Who Moved My Cheese?

‘I moved Your Cheese’ can be viewed as a contradiction to or continuation of the best-seller ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ by Dr Spencer Johnson. Personally, I feel the two books should be read one after the other, although they can very well be read as stand-alone entities.

In my opinion ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ caters for people who find it difficult to accept change. ‘I Moved Your Cheese’ goes one step further by inspiring people to not just accept and adapt to the change, but question the boundaries, limitations and actual happiness that comes along with the change and the goal they are pursuing.

The main characters

  • Max – He is different from the rest as seen by his out-of-the-box thinking. He is highly curious and determined to find answers to his questions. He decides on a goal and shows great conviction in achieving it.
  • Zed – He doesn’t follow the sheep. He sees the big picture and is utterly content and happy because of this knowledge. He is inspiring and wise, and does not care for material things.
  • Big – Perhaps the most determined of the three, he is strong, focused and works hard towards his goals without thinking of what people around him are doing, or the paths that they are following. He has great problem solving skills.

A List of My Favourite Quotes

  • They knew a whole lot, but they understood very little

  • That’s not the game I’m playing

  • I am the purpose

  • Is it possible to pursue happiness if the pursuit itself does not make you happy?

  • You, Zed, are asking them to be, but they have learned only to do.

  • You had a thought. And that thought directed actions that gave physical shape to your thought – to your vision.

  • The problem is not that the mouse is in the maze, but that the maze is in the mouse.


As stated previously, I love this book because it makes you think! It will greatly aid anyone who is trying to find contentment, fulfilment and happiness – be it in the workplace or life in general.

Information about the Author

Deepak Malhotra is the Eli Goldston Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. His teachings focus on negotiation, deal-making and conflict resolution. He has received many awards including being chosen by Poets & Quants in 2014 to be among their ’40 under 40’ which lists the world’s best business school professors under the age of 40.


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