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Have You Ever Felt Like Pulling Your Hair Out?

Have you ever had those times when the rain cloud keeps following you around?

Times when challenges come your way out of every corner of your world?

In recent weeks we have had to replace our AC $5,000, had a water-heater leak flooding our finished basement while we were on vacation, $1,000 deductible,  and my wife got hit with news of needing nearly $6,000 of dental rework this week due to a fraudulent dentist who skipped town. So how do you handle such challenging times? How do you cope with times when it seems like someone keeps coming into your world and changing the rules of the game without telling you?

There is a little story about mice who keep having their cheese moved that shows how different people respond to the challenges that life throws at us. In this little parable you can picture yourself as well as friends, family and co-workers as each navigates the change that we all will inevitably face during the course of our lives.

One of the great little books on facing and handling change that may come your way is Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Wo... This little 94 page book is a great resource to facilitate discussion within your team during times of change.

This book could be used with your family, business, church or any organization that is facing change. It is a great resource to hand to that team member who is having difficulty handling change that has come their way recently. In today's world change comes at us at a rapid pace and with rapid fire so we need to be prepared to handle it whether in our families, churches or business organizations.

Spencer Johnson provides an entertaining lesson on several aspects of facing change.

The book is a parable that is set in a maze with four characters. Two of the characters are mice-Sniff & Scurry, the other two characters are little people the size of mice-Hem and Haw. The mice approach the cheese in a nonjudgmental & non analytical manner while their human counter parts have a completely different approach.  The humans have developed an identity that is tied to the cheese. The cheese represents whatever it is you are pursuing in life; career success, money, material possessions, family....  You fill in the blank with what your cheese is. What is it you are pursuing with your life? Then that is your cheese and it will be moved often over the course of your life.

As they learn lessons working through the maze they write them on the wall. The lessons take you through the three stages of change listed below.

3 Stages of Change

  • Stage 1: Preparing for Change
  • Stage 2: Gaining Change Skills
  • Stage 3: Achieving A Change

Here are the lesson learned by the characters in the book that they wrote on the wall of the maze.

The Handwriting On The Wall


Change Happens

They Keep Moving the Cheese

Anticipate Change

Get Ready For The Cheese To Move

Monitor Change

Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old

Adapt To Change Quickly

The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese


Move 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 Again

They Keep Moving The Cheese



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Comment by Mark J Cundiff on October 11, 2012 at 12:05pm

You are correct Ann, I hope your challenges turn around and things begin to get better for you in the days ahead. Keep the lessons learn from this little book and it will help make the journey a more positive experience. 

Comment by Ann Musico on October 11, 2012 at 11:43am

You certainly have been hit from all sides recently!  I'm sorry to hear it.  I love Who Moved My Cheese and your post.  It's true that the only constant in life is change so we might as well learn how to deal with it!  I've had a bit of a similar couple of weeks with some unexpected challenges - but keeping the proper perspective makes all the difference, as does focusing on the positives!

Comment by Mark J Cundiff on October 11, 2012 at 8:58am


Thanks for your kind words. I would have loved to seen you in those ears and nose reading your part. I bet that was a fun time and a good way to teach the lessons of this great book. One thing is for sure if we are living and breathing challenges and changes will come our way, it is all about our perspective and attitude as to whether or not the impact gets us down or helps us grow and develop. 

Group Leader
Comment by Dan Miller on October 11, 2012 at 5:37am
Man I'm sorry to hear about those unexpected challenges in your world. A couple months ago I was invited to play one of the mice in a live reading of Who Moved My Cheese. I put on the ears and nose they provided and we went through the whole book and then discussed our responses to unwelcome change. You are so right in laying out the steps here. There is a process for adapting and moving on.

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