The book is written by Dr. Spencer Johnson and is an a-mazing way to deal with change in your both personal and professional life. I guarantee you could almost feel the release of negative energy beginning to occur.
The book tells the story of four little characters: the mice: Scurry and Sniff, and the little people: Hem and Haw, who all live in a maze and all really love cheese. As you watch what the four characters do, you realize both the mice and the little people represent parts of ourselves -the simple and the complex. Sometimes you may act like Sniff: who sniffs out change early, or Scurry: who scurries into action or Hem: who denies and resists change as he fears it will lead to something worse, or Haw: who learns to adapt in time when he sees changing leads to something better!
We live in uncertain times and the more we can condition ourselves to be comfortable in discomfort, the greater our ability to deal with change in a calm and controlled way.
The story starts with a change that takes place in a Maze where our four amusing characters look for “Cheese”- cheese being a metaphor for what we want to have in life, whether it is a job, a relationship, money, a big house, freedom, health, recognition, spiritual peace, or even an activity like cycling or singing. Each of us has our own idea of what Cheese is, and we pursue it because we believe it makes us happy. The ‘Maze’in the story represents where you spend time looking for what you want. It can be the organization you work in, the community you live in, or the relationship you have in your life.
However, whatever parts of us we choose to use, we all share something in common: A need to find a way in the maze and succeed in changing times.
The same thing happens in the story. Every morning our four characters put on their clothes and shoes, leave their homes, and race into the maze looking for their own special cheese. The two mice, possessing only simple rodent brains, but good instinct, searched for hard nibbling cheese they liked, as mice often do. While the two little people used their brains, filled with many beliefs and emotions, to search for a very different Cheese – with a capital C-which they believed would make them feel happy and successful.
The maze was a labyrinth of corridors and chambers, some containing delicious cheese. But there were also dark corners and blind alleys leading nowhere. It was an easy place for anyone to get lost.
That’s the thing with life and the changes we face in life. We all know change is inevitable. However, most of the time we forget, that we are not the only ones facing it. Everyone around us is in this game, trying to cope with the unexpected changes happening to them in their respective lives. In addition, the funniest thing is – “None of us know a good way to handle them”.
Nonetheless, one day Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw all found what they were looking for – their own kind of cheese at the end of one of the corridors in Cheese Station C. Now, that they got what they were looking for they all established a routine around it. While Sniff and Scurry continued to wake up early every day and race through the maze, always following the same route. Things were different for our little people, Hem and Haw woke up each day a little later, dressed a little slower, and walked to the Cheese Station. After all, they knew where the cheese was now and how to get there.
One day, they all arrive at Cheese Station C and discover there is no cheese. While Sniff and Scurry quickly move on since they were not surprised by what had happened. But, Hem and Haw were unprepared for what they found. They continued to hem and haw. They ranted and raved at the injustice of it all. It was not the way things were supposed to be for them.
While you keep reading the story, you will see that the two mice do better when they are faced with this change because they keep things simple, while our two little people’s complex brains and human emotions complicate things. It’s not that mice are smarter, they were just quick to put focus where it matterered most.
In any case, you will see how these four characters deal with the situation. You will find something useful in this read, as I do, and it will surely help you deal with change and bring success, whatever you decide success is for you.
I hope you enjoy what you discover, and remember: Move with the Cheese!