Title : Who Moved My Cheese?

Author : Dr. Spencer Johnson

Genre : Personal Development

Pages : 96 pages

Publisher : Vermilion


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Cheese is a metaphor for what we want to have in life, whether it is a job, a relationship, money, a big house, freedom, health, recognition, spiritual peace or any activity.

“Who Moved My Cheese?” , is  a story of four little characters, two mice named Sniff and Scurry and two little people Hem and Haw. All four of them ran through a maze everyday with their jogging suits and running shoes on to Cheese Station C. At Cheese Station C, they found cheese that kept them nourished and made them happy. Sniff and Scurry would wake up early everyday and race through the maze to Cheese Station C. After reaching, they would take off their running shoes and tie them arround the neck in case they needed them again. In the beginning, Hem and Haw would do the same but after a while, they would reach later and later everyday to Cheese Sattion C. To make them comfortable, Haw wrote on the wall “Having cheese makes you happy”.

One day, the cheese was gone. Sniff and Scurry were not surprised. They had noticed the supply of cheese reducing each day. The mice did not over analyze things. So, they set out to find new cheese. Sniff and Scurry decided to change with the situation.

Later the same day, when Hem and Haw arrived at Cheese Station C, they were shocked to see no cheese. They had not paid attention to small changes taking place each day. Hem yelled repeatedly “Who moved my cheese?”.They kept looking around the Cheeseless Station C to see if the cheese was really gone. Hem and Haw were resisting change and so started feeling depressed. Before going home that night hungry and discouraged, Haw wrote on the wall “The more important your cheese is to you, the more you want  to hold on to it”.

Haw wanted to change with the situation but the fear of change and listening to Hem, made him stay and so, they both kept coming to Cheese Station C without any success in finding cheese.

One day, Haw realised that this situation wasn’t going to improve and the only way out was to run through the maze again in search of new cheese. But, Hem was still adamant and was not ready to leave his comfort zone. So, Haw set out alone in search of new cheese. Before he left, he wrote on the wall “If you do not change, you can become extinct”.

Haw ran through the maze everyday in search of new cheese. It was more tiring and painful than before. Haw realised that he had spent a lot of time at Cheese Station C. He stopped for some rest and wrote on the wall “Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old”. But Haw was happy because he had overcome his fear. Running through the maze, he would find little cheese for survival. He would fill his pockets with few bits of cheese. He imagined about his favourite cheese and realised that imagining better situations made him run through the maze with greater agility and strength. One day, he went back to Cheese Station C and offered Hem some of the bits of cheese. But Hem refused. Hem wanted the same cheese that he was used to eating. Haw again failed to convince his friend to move on. Haw again set out alone.

Days passed by, but Haw was yet to find his cheese. As he ran through the maze, he thought about what he had already learned. He realised that his new beliefs were encouraging new behaviour. He continued through the maze with greater speed. And before long, it happened. He proceeded along a corridor that was new to him, rounded a corner and found new cheese at Cheese Station N.

When Haw went inside, he was startled because what he was witnessing was the greatest supply of cheese he had ever seen. Sniff and Scurry welcomed him here. Sniff and Scurry had already grown fat because they had been here for some time. Haw enjoyed his new cheese but this time he wasn’t ignorant. He inspected Cheese Station N everyday to see the condition of the cheese and to avoid being surprised by unexpected change.

One day, he could hear some noises and hoped it was his friend Hem.

Though a simple one, this story is impactful.

In my next post I would be sharing a one page summary that is mentioned  in the book so as to not take away the essence of the book.


Though I have been reading since a very long time, this was my first try at a book summary. Hope you all enjoyed!

My next post:

Who Moved My Cheese? – Part 2


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One thought on “Who Moved My Cheese? – Book summary

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