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My thoughts about the book "Who moved my cheese?"

Updated on January 7, 2010
photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

This is my take on the book -- Who moved my cheese? by Stephen Johnson, M. D.

I finally read this book, it is one of the books tucked away in my bedroom after a friend gave it to me as a Christmas present last year. The dedication is printed with a scented pen and it goes “To my friend and that you may not fear change anymore, Happy holidays and I wish you find what you want in life“, Best, Jocelyn. I started to think about it and all I could think was how I was so misguided a year after, and now I am feeling better. I should have read this book a year ago.

About the book and how it came about:

The author explained why he wrote the book : because of his personal experience in dealing with difficult situation in life, and how he emerged to have a better life despite all the changes and the problems he experienced. After twenty years of sharing his story anywhere he goes, he finally write the book.

Main theme of the book:

In dealing with change in your life, you have to move with your cheese and know when to find it, don’t dwell on the things which you cant change anymore because there is nothing really permanent in this world except change. Cheese meaning good relationship, health, money, work and anything which will make you happy.


The main characters of the story are two little mice, Sniff who sniffs out change early, Scurry who acts immediately and the two Little People, Hem who denies and also resists change as he fears it may become worst and Haw who learns to adapt to change and acknowledges that it will lead to something better in his life.

The book is divided into three parts:

First part is a gathering of old classmates asking each other what happened in their lives, and the second part is the story itself, the third part is a kind of reawakening that they need to move on in each of their lives and share the story of “Who moved my cheese”, to start their life with the lessons learned too.

The main part of the book: it is a story about the four characters who tried to look for their cheese in a maze (a thing called life). A cheese represents what you want in life, in business, relationship, new job, healthy freedom or any activity you are in for example being a write etc.. And yes every one of us in this life have also an idea about our own cheese and how to go and find it. Sometimes it can be traumatic if you are holding on to your cheese and somehow it was taken from you like your job and past lover etc. The Maze in the story represents where you spend your energies and time looking for your cheese. The first two mice upon learning that there is no more Cheese in the place where there are lots of it before, tried to moved away and followed the maze, and they found new cheese and settled there. However for the two Little People Hem and Haw it took longer time for Haw to figured it out and follow the maze so he can be with the two mice. He later found out that they were enjoying the new-found Cheese a long time already. The one who was left behind was Hem, he cant realized the fact that his cheese has been moved and he just sulk everyday, asking questions why there is no more cheese in that place where he stays. Towards the end, the two little mice and Haw are enjoying their new-found cheese but for Haw, the book didn’t specify what happened to him, who knows he might still be wondering why things happened the way they are?

My take on the book:

The book is very reader friendly: It is 96 pages including all the cover page and until the last page, the size and the font is reader friendly, I have astigmatism and wear contact lens 600, nearsighted so it is good for me. The last book I read a month ago is very long, 100 Years of Solitude by Marquez and they are smaller in print, it gives me headache at times. I like it that the book is so simple and I can read it in two hours while watching television, what the heck? I look at the price and it is 19.95 USD  and according to Amazon, it is the number one All Time best selling book ? Hmm, is that it, must be the simple lessons learned. It looks like it is common sense and the author is not the one who first said those words. “Accept, moved with the cheese and enjoy it”.

Lessons I learned from the book:

  • Change is inevitable, it happens, accept it
  • You can either change your views and act on it or dwell on it and just be stagnant
  • You can found the cheese if you widen your horizon and keep looking for it
  • You can smell the change, in every situation, most of the time we see it coming, it helps if you can monitor the change
  • Adaptation is important
  • You can change, move with the cheese depending on your goal
  • And lastly enjoy the change

Easily said, I was just thinking about an experience for example when you lose your loved one, it is not that easy to let go, but we can move forward, a good change of attitude will help us

Now, I better go get find my new cheese!

About change --

  • It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. - Author is unknown, commonly misattributed to Charles Darwin
  • If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies“. - Author is Unknown

May you have a Prosperous New Year and may it bring you more cheese too!


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