Don’t Be Afraid of Change–Just Go Where the New Cheese Is!


Today starts out as just another ordinary mundane day in your life. You wake up, bathe, get dressed, eat, go to work or go to school. However, there are forces that are constantly at work to cause changes that will impact you either directly or indirectly. How do you react to these changes when they occur? Do you see them coming, or are you completely blindsided by them? If you have no answer to these questions, please read my book review of “[easyazon_link keywords=”Who Moved My Cheese” locale=”US” tag=”earweaforyouf-20″]Who Moved My Cheese[/easyazon_link]?” by Spencer Johnson, MD.  Find out which of the four main characters in the book you identify with and then decide for yourself what you need to do in order to deal with changes when they happen.        

In the book, Dr. Johnson tells the story of how 4 characters react and respond to a simple change of  first having cheese to eat to having no more cheese to eat.

The Four Main Characters and the “Cheese”

Source: Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, MD 1998

Source: Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, MD


Now that you have met the four main characters in the book, do any or all of them remind you of people you know? Which one of them do you identify with the most? If you are like most people, myself included, you may find yourself having some of the traits of all 4 characters.

 New Cheese Scenario

You are a desk clerk at an office building. You have been working there full time for the past 3 years. According to your boss, your work and productivity is satisfactory; it meets the required standards. For the past 3 years, you have been receiving your weekly paycheck without any incident. However, at the start of your fourth year, your boss announces that your work hours as well as the other desk clerks’ hours will for now on be reduced by 10 percent. How would you react to this news? You could possibly react in one or more of the following ways:

Reaction #1. You are extremely angry. You demand to know why your work hours are being reduced even though you were told that you are performing your job according to standards. Insist that if your work hours are going to be reduced, then you are entitled to get some other benefit or perk in return for being inconvenienced. You refuse to change or adapt to the news; you hope against hope that this will not be permanent and things will return back to the way they were.

Reaction #2. Once you hear that your work hours are going to be reduced, you immediately start planning to look for another job. You are not at all very upset. For all you know the next step after reducing work hours could be layoffs so it’s better to be prepared than not.

Reaction #3. You may be angry but not really surprised because you have noticed for the past 3 months before the announcement that the work volume has been getting lower. Therefore after hearing the news, you are glad that prior to your boss making the announcement, you have submitted your resume to several career websites and joined a few networking websites for the purpose of setting up job interviews.

Reaction #4. You are quite angry. You don’t understand how this could happen because you thought everything was okay. You hope against hope that this will not be permanent and things will return back to normal. However, as time goes on, you realize that things will not return to the way they were before, and you eventually decide to make preparations to look for a new job.

Using the above scenario, can you identify how might Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw react? (Answers are at the end of this post).

Lessons Learned

After I finished reading this book, I learned that it is not the “cheese” that is important. Whatever cheese is most important to you at the moment, be aware that there are some fundamental truths that Dr. Johnson says that must be learned if we are to be able to adapt and embrace changes that effect us during our lifetimes. These fundamental truths are what he calls “The Handwriting on the Wall”.

The Handwriting on the Wall

The principles taught by Dr. Johnson can also be applied in regards to affiliate marketing. Let’s say that you have decided to get involved with affiliate marketing because you want to make extra money. However if you have not yet achieved success or don’t know how to get started, then you have to make the necessary changes in order to get the desired results. One change that may be necessary is to learn the basics of affiliate marketing at Wealthy Affiliate.  If you make a concerted effort to apply what you have learned at Wealthy Affiliate and then later on become successful making money, you can then go after any piece of “cheese” you want.

My Final Thoughts

Rating: 5 star rating

Should you read “Who Moved My Cheese?” I would definitely say yes. This book is less than 100 pages long, so it is a quick read. The lessons taught from the book can be applied to your workplace, business, and/or family life. The most important lesson to realize is that change is inevitable, and we all have a choice on how we deal with it. If you have any thoughts, questions, or comments, I will be happy to respond. Please feel free to place them below.



 Answers to the New Cheese Scenario                                   
Reaction #1–Hem         Reaction #3–Sniff
Reaction #2–Scurry     Reaction #4–Haw




10 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid of Change–Just Go Where the New Cheese Is!

  1. I really like this book. WHo Moved My Cheese taught me a lot of things that we can’t control all the things that is happening in our life. Recently a large amount of cash was undispensed in the ATM when I tried to withdraw it. really need that cash that time and Im afraid that It will not be debited back to me. I worried for the first few days while waiting for it to be returned back to my account. After a week it was returned, but the time wasted from worrying about it will not be taken back again. Lesson learned is that misadventures like this happen all the time. It’s how you handle this that matters and your mindset that everything will be fine and you can handle whatever challenge will be thrown to you.

    • Deidre says:

      Hi Keye,
      I agree with you when you say that the most important lesson learned from this book is how to handle the challenges
      that you will face in your life. I am currently in the process of leaving one job (old cheese) for another job
      (new cheese) because I got tired of “smelling” the old cheese and wanted some “fresh” new cheese. I’m nervous about it but
      excited at the same time. I am glad that you liked the book and learned something from it. Best of luck to you in facing
      future challenges.

  2. Rino says:

    Hi Deidre
    What a great read that was, I’m off to read that book, I want to get that cheese, I am going to learn the basics of affiliate marketing.


    • Deidre says:

      Hi Rino,
      Good for you! Affiliate marketing has its challenges but I get the feeling that you have the determination to
      succeed once you learn the basics. Remember one of the points of the Handwriting on the Wall, “Enjoy Change–Savor the
      adventure and the taste of new cheese!”

  3. Hi there Deidre
    I’ve always dreamed of having my own business online. I’m sure that many people thought of that on how to make money online, how to make an additional income along with your salary.

    Yes of course, I have read Who moved my cheese and I do recommend everyone to read it, because it gives you the fuel that you need to hit start and go forward.

    Have fun

    • Deidre says:

      Hi Anas,
      Thank you for backing up my point that everyone should read this book. No matter what one decides to do
      with his/her life, it is important that he/she knows how to deal with challenges and/or changes and not
      let them get in the way of reaching their goals.
      Best wishes for success in your online business.

  4. Hi Deidre,

    Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I think the advice is spot on and your review here makes me want to give it a read.

    Funny, I think I have traits from all 4 of the characters you described. I’m thinking whatever piece of cheese is moving at any given time is what determines which trait appears most strongly.

    Thanks again for the informative post

    • Deidre says:

      Hi Gregory,
      Thanks for your wonderful comments. I also think I have all 4 character traits described in the book.
      Presently, I identify with the character Haw because I saw change coming in my job but I was hesitant
      to do anything about it at first. Now I have made my adjustments and things are looking better for me.
      If you get the book and read it, I will be happy to discuss it further with you. Have a great day!

    • Deidre says:

      Hi Cherie,
      Yes, it is a great book to reread because it is very short and the lessons taught are ones that we need
      to be reminded of regularly. Thanks for your comment; glad you liked the post.

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