Chris Hartwell, MSW
Who Moved My Cheese? Starts off with a group of friends meeting
up after their high school reunion. One of the friends begins to
tell the story of "Who Moved My Cheese?" and at that point the
author begins to describe, symbolically, the manner in which so many
people in this world deal with change in their lives.
The characters in the story treasure
the cheese. The cheese is important - it means many things to them.
But each character has a slightly different approach to life, and
their individual approach defines what happens to them when the
cheese runs out.
The cheese can
be anything you treasure in life - and for some people it will just
be something they're used to in life. The cheese can be a job, a
relationship, an organization, or even the world we live in. The
story is about how we adapt to change in our lives, and it sets out
to alter our perception of change. The main character in the story,
"Haw" learns to laugh at himself when he realizes that he'd made a
mistake by becoming too dependent on his cheese and unwilling to
Haw comes to many
realizations during the story that help him move on, and he writes
them on the wall as he goes. Here's the summary he writes in the
They Keep Moving the Cheese
Get Ready for the Cheese to Move
Smell the Cheese Often So You Know When it is Getting Old
Adapt to Change Quickly
The Quicker You Let Go of Old Cheese, the Sooner You Can Enjoy New
Move with the Cheese
Savor the Adventure and Enjoy the Taste of New Cheese!
Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy
it Again and Again
They Keep Moving the Cheese
After the story, the friends take some
time to discuss its meaning. One of the most insightful parts of the
narrative is when they realize that they can apply these principles
to their personal lives. The author writes,
said, "most people here are talking about jobs, but as I
listened to the story, I thought about my personal life. I think
my current relationship is 'old cheese' that has some pretty
serious mold on it."
Cory laughed in agreement. "Me too. I probably need to let go of
a bad relationship."
Angela countered, "Or, perhaps the 'Old Cheese' is just old
behavior. What we really need to let go of is the
behavior that is the cause of our bad relationship. And then
move on to a better way of thinking and acting."
"Ouch!" Corey reacted. "Good point. The New Cheese is a new
relationship with the same person."
Richard said, "I'm beginning to think there is more to this
than I thought. I like the idea of letting go of old behavior
instead of letting go of the relationship. Repeating the same
behavior will just get you the same results."
I highly recommend
Who Moved My Cheese? to anyone who is struggling with change.
It's a quick read at under 100 pages, and it addresses life changing
principles that can greatly alter our degree of satisfaction in
the only constant in life, is change.
Chris Hartwell, MSW, is the Webmaster
and creator of The
Family & Marriage Counseling Directory.