By Spencer Johnson, M.D., forward by Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D.
A former coach turned friend mailed this book to me a while ago, but I just recently re-read it to evaluate how my feelings about change have matured. As a result of my experiences, I’ve actually become comfortable with change and I believe that this book is a quick and easy read that can help anyone deal with change at work or in his or her personal life.
The story involves four characters that are living in a maze in search of cheese, all of which are metaphors related to our daily lives. There are two mice, Scurry and Sniff, and two littlepeople (humans that are the size of mice for the purpose of good storytelling ha!), Haw and Hem. Each of these characters represents a part of us. As assumed, Scurry and Sniff are simple-minded. They pay attention to their surroundings, expect change, accept change, and react. The littlepeople, on the other hand, are far more complex and tend to over-think. They resist and fear change with the possibility of overcoming it if, and only if, they can imagine the change leading to something positive. The maze represents “where we spend time looking for what we want” and the cheese represents whatever our own individual wants in life are, i.e. “a job, relationship, money, a big house, freedom, health, recognition, spiritual peace.”
Below are the main teaching points from the story.
- Change Happens
- Anticipate Change
- Monitor Change
- Adapt to Change Quickly
- Enjoy Change
- Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy it Again and Again
Each of us can relate to one, or a combination, of the characters in this story. While reading, you will recognize whom you relate to and you will be able to identify not only how you are currently affected by change but also what you can do to manage change going forward.
I highly recommend this book and I hope you’ll share it with your family, friends, co-workers, etc. Enjoy!