“Who Moved My Cheese” by Johnson
In this story, cheese is a metaphor for everything people may want in life, including money, high social status, family, comfort, safety, etc. Unlike the Little People, mice in the story understand that complaining about injustice during change is pointless, as it will not improve any aspects of someone’s life that they are dissatisfied about. In turn, humans tend to complain about these things, and I believe that it is due to the fact that our “complex brains” simply allow us to have an understanding of the concepts such as unfairness (Johnson, 2015, p. 7). My overall impression of the book is positive, as it helped me view change and behaviors I adopt during changes from a different angle. I was definitely able to relate to the book, as I have many of the fears and doubts mentioned in it, the main being the fear of changes.
The character I most easily identify with is Haw because I go through the same stages when accepting the change. Like him, I can often get discouraged when unexpected changes occur and spend a long time thinking about them but not acting to improve the situation. The time I spend analyzing the cause and effect of the change is not always long; however, I could use those moments to react to these changes.
One example of a situation in my life when I was a Hem is when my friends wanted me to go on a vacation with them, but I was not sure whether I could afford it at the time. I did not want to tell them about it, and I simply had to refuse to go, although they were insisting. I think in that case, I was afraid that if I allowed them to pay for me, our relationship would change. At the same time, I did nothing to improve my financial situation and earn more money to go with them. Like Hem, I simply isolated myself from everyone, waiting for something good to happen to me.
Favorite Cheese Quote
My favorite quote from the story is “What would you do if you were not afraid?” and I think I like it because it addresses one of the problems I have when adapting to changes: fear (Johnson, 2015, p. 16). Fears can be different, but I think my main ones are the fear of the unknown and the fear of failure because they are what cause other insecurities I can have when facing new challenges. I can apply this quote to my life by creating a version of me that is not afraid of some particular challenge at hand. This question can help me to understand what it is that I am afraid of in the first place and then conquer the fear by simply imagining that it does not exist.
When My Cheese Was Moved
The situation in my life when my “cheese was moved” happened when one of my close relatives passed away. I was devastated and could not even think about doing something to change the way I felt, as it seemed selfish and pointless. I think I acted like Hem in that period of my life, as all I thought about was how unfair life was. It is difficult to say how the situation resolved, as a long time has passed, and I simply learned to live with these negative emotions. However, I now think my reaction to such a tragedy would resemble Haw’s reaction more, as I would be able to find the strength and strive for happiness. Today, I would be more willing to believe that love, beauty, and willpower can and should be found even during times of hardships.
Johnson, S. (2015). Who moved my cheese. Random House.