Friday, July 8, 2011

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

(I know. I know. Not my typical book.)

Who Moved My Cheese? is a simple parable that reveals profound truths about change. It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a "Maze" and look for "Cheese" to nourish them and make them happy. — Two are mice named Sniff and Scurry. And two are "little people" -- beings the size of mice who look and act a lot like people. Their names are Hem and Haw.

"Cheese" is a metaphor for what you want to have in life -- whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, health, or spiritual peace of mind.

And "The Maze" is where you look for what you want -- the organization you work in, or the family or community you live in.

In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change. Eventually, one of them deals with it successfully, and writes what he has learned from his experience on the maze walls.

When you come to see "The Handwriting on the Wall," you can discover for yourself how to deal with change, so that you can enjoy less stress and more success (however you define it) in your work and in your life.

Written for all ages, the story takes less than an hour to listen to, but its unique insights can last for a lifetime.

My thoughts: 
Overall a good book that will teach a valuable lesson on identifying the clues that pop up to alert you of change coming and learning to deal with that change. The first part of the book is about a group of friends visiting each other during a reunion. It was during this party that one of the guests told the Cheese story. The second part of the story is the actual Cheese story. The third part is the original friends discussing what they had learned about the story and themselves after hearing it.

I thought the first part was not bad leading up to the main story. I like books that have a sub-story involved. I loved the Cheese story. I'm not a stranger to it. I have belong to several large corporations who utilized this story during training. Most even have a little film to watch. The last part of the book is what I really disliked.

The discussion part felt like a horribly scripted infomercial. I felt like I should have been back in a classroom doodling instead of paying attention. Although mildly interesting, I really couldn't care less about the fictional reunion members and the parallels they drew between each character of the Cheese story and themselves. I think this book would have benefited from having more of a independent study guide in the last part. One that had open ended questions asking the reader things like "Which character did you find you related to more and why?" The book did mention in the forward that many people skip the last section to draw their own conclusions.
If it weren't for that last section I may have given this book a higher rating. I believe that a nonfiction book can be informative. You can learn things without feeling lectured to.

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