reflection on who moved my cheese

This book, by Spencer Johnson, reveals the truths about how we deal with change that happens in our lives which effects us in so many ways, either positively or negatively. The book takes an amusing approach to what happens when you don’t adapt to change and what happens when you do. In the book, cheese is used as a metaphor for what you want to have in life. All my life I wanted the nice house, the beautiful wife, the kids, money, the dog, the nice tuck to pull the nice boat, the great career, and so on , and so on. To me, it’s human nature to want those things and I eventually got all of those things and then some…..

More on that later. There was another metaphor in the book, which was the maze. The maze was a representation of where you look for what you want in life and it also represented the obstacles that we all face time after time. When I look back on the way my life has turned out and carefully think about certain outcomes, I can clearly see a maze and all of the right and wrong turns that I made along the way, probably more wrong turns than right. But the main message that Johnson wants to convey is Change and that it will eventually happen.

We all adapt to change in a different ways which in return causes us to reap in positive moments in our lives and to reap in not-so positive moments just the same. We are the directors in this life of ours and have the power to make the choices to find that new cheese once our old cheese has been moved, taken, and or ruined, meaning when change happens. And the thing about change, is that we never know how its going to happen and or when its going to happen, but we can be certain that there will be some type of change that will effect us in one way or the other.

I like the sayings that Haw wrote on the wall after he made his way through the maze once he decided to adapt to change that faced him. Change HappensThey Keep Moving the Cheese Anticipate ChangeGet Ready for the Cheese to Move Monitor ChangeSmell the Cheese Often So You Know When it is Getting Old Adapt to Change QuicklyThe Quicker You Let Go of Old Cheese, the Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese ChangeMove with the Cheese Enjoy Change! Savor the Adventure and Enjoy the Taste of New Cheese! Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy it Again and AgainThey Keep Moving the Cheese.

Change is always going to happen whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not. It’s important to prepare for it to help get things done once change does happen. Then when change has done its thing, it is a good idea to monitor it. I have always done this in my career to see many trends that may effect or that are effecting our business. I track what we have done and what we are on tack for in many areas so that we can anticipate any change that can negatively effect us or vice/versa. I truly believe that if you can’t monitor it, you definitely can’t control it; in other words, “Smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old. Then when it does get old or if it gets moved, you need to adapt quickly so that change does not take you over and change you for the worst. And if change does happen, then move with it. Just go with it and adapt yourself to it. At first it’s difficult to move with it and to actually welcome or enjoy the change. But once you make it through the change, it will be that much better once you have overcome what could have changed you for the worst. It’s important keep moving with whatever change comes your way. It can be difficult to get there because of our behavior.

Our behaviors are mostly what keeps us from moving with change. Once we sense change, our human instincts take over and fear sets in, not allowing us get out of our comfort zones, then eventually leading us to denial. To me, it’s just natural human behavior to resist when change sets in on our complacent lives. Like Angela said in in the book before the story, “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. And I like what 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 have always thought that that is the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. If it isn’t, it’s pretty close. I saw a little bit of me in all four characters. I had my own Cheese Station C at one time and boy was it nice.

I was making an income of over six digit’s a year and had a wonderful family and many possessions that came to me very easily. I had it all and like most spoiled brats, became very complacent, arrogant, and only thought of myself before anyone or anything else. I never took the time to take a step back and be thankful for everything that I had been blessed with. I just wanted more and more. Once I got more, I still had a feeling of wanting more. My cheese kept piling up and I didn’t even think that it could all spoil or disappear someday. Not once did it enter my busy complicated little brain.

Then one day, it happened. It was all gone. I woke up one morning and my cheese was no longer there. Like Hem and Haw, I could not believe that this was happening to me, which led me to denial just like them. I wasn’t used to not having cheese and what scared me the most was that my family depended on me to make and bring home cheese as for my wife was not a cheese earner at the time. So, there I had my Hem and Haw moments of believing that I didn’t deserve this treatment and shouldn’t have to change. But I soon and very quickly realized that I had to adapt.

So I did, the best way I could. I had lost my job after falling on my face personally, so I quickly looked for another job. It took a while due to my circumstance, but I caught a brake and found a dealership in Kirkland. They all wondered why someone with my qualifications and experience just wanted to be a car salesman. They thought it was odd since they wouldn’t stoop to that level. But little did they know it was just part of the my maze to new cheese. I didn’t know it at the time, but my way of thinking at the time was: “What would you do if you were not afraid. With all that was going on with me and with my legal issues, I could have let fear look me in the eyes and take over. I didn’t let that happen. I moved beyond the fear and made it work until I had to go and serve my one year sentence. When I finished, I had to start the search all over again. Luckily, I found my cheese as soon as I was released and have held on to it ever since. This time, I am more grateful for this cheese and, yes, it does taste good, though it doesn’t taste the same as before, but I’m not complaining by any means.

Reading this book has made me look back on my experience and made me realize that I was like Sniff and Scurry for the most part. I have always been a go-getter but like most people of this world, I fell complacent and fell to the lures of worldly material things that had no meaning or purpose at all. No substance what so ever. It also took me back to looking at my own maze and all the wrong turns that I took along the way. What gets me, is that sometimes I knew all along that I was taking a wrong turn to begin with. And to top it off, was the change here and the change there. Some bigger change.

Some smaller change but all effective and significant in some way. Another little example was my change in treatment. I liked going to Mr. Madsen and got a lot out of what he had to say. I also learned to listen and to look at my thoughts, behaviors, and actions. After 27 years, I came to accept certain things about myself and past that I had beat myself up for so long. In a way, I feel free now because Mr. Madsen has helped me look at myself right in the eyes. And by doing so, I have been able to move beyond my fears making me feel free. But as soon as I got used to him, someone moved my cheese.

I had to switch providers and here I am. This group is just part of my maze towards finding my new cheese. So remember: Change happens. There’s nothing you can do about it. Your best bet it to try and adapt to that change. You might be scared to try something new and that’s ok, just do you best. If you don’t roll with the changes, you’ll only hurt yourself and possibly others close to you. You’ll just live in denial and never see that the grass really is greener on the other side. But once you get there, make sure to bring your mower, because you have to mow the greener grass a lot more.

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