Books, Career Development, Professional Growth, Soft Skills

Who Moved My Cheese?

I think it’s safe to say we didn’t see 2020 coming! I don’t know about you, but I sure didn’t.

I should’ve known 2020 was going to be a rollercoaster because the morning of January 1st, I experienced the worst turbulence of my life. As my seatmates and I held hands and prayed in our respective languages, I begged diosito santo to give me another chance at life. And here I am.

If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that we need to be prepared for change. Change is constant, and as much as we try to resist it, it will always win. Always.

As I was thinking of change, I remembered a book I read early in my career. Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson is a charming, easy-to-read parable about the importance of adapting to change.

The story follows Sniff and Scurry (mice) and Hem and Haw (little people) who live in a maze. Every morning they wake up and head to Cheese Sation C where they each enjoy their favorite type of cheese. One morning they realize that the cheese is gone. Sniff and Scurry do the sensible thing and leave to find more cheese. Hem and Haw are confused about the missing cheese. Hem becomes angry and keeps asking, “who moved my cheese?” Haw decides to embark on a journey to find new cheese and learns some valuable lessons along the way.

So what do a maze and a big chunk of cheese have to do with adapting to change? The author explains that the “cheese” represents something you want in your life and the “maze” is where you look for what you want.

Imagine this: You work for a mid-size corporation (maze), and you are ready to take the next step in your career. You have your eyes on a role with more pay and more responsibility. You’ve been excelling at your current job, and you are a shoo-in for a promotion (cheese). Suddenly, the corporation abolishes the role, and it no longer exists. And just like that, your cheese disappeared.

The reality is that in this ever-changing world, your “cheese” is going to move, whether you like it or not. I’m sure you’ve experienced a situation in your life where either your cheese disappeared, moved, or just went bad. Did you dwell and complain about the circumstances, or did you pivot and adapt quickly?

This book offers a refreshing take on handling all of the curveballs life throws your way. It shows you the importance of welcoming change, anticipating change, and actually enjoying it. So, instead of asking, “who moved my cheese?” you will proudly say, “on to the next queso!”

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