Many years ago, I attended a conference on a new business that my division was launching and they kicked off the conference by giving each of us a copy of “Who Moved my Cheese?” Since, it was an easy read, I read through the book after I finished the social activities at the conference. Although some people put down such books as simplistic pep talks, this book did resonate with me and significantly influenced my thinking to deal with the rapidly changing world we face today.
This story’s characters and how they deal with the challenges of finding cheese in a maze felt like a metaphor for me as I tried to push my career forward as well as grow my personal finances and my relationships. Every day they have the same routine of working their way through the maze to a block of cheese. One day, when they go to the cheese, it’s no longer there. How the characters handle the change when the cheese is gone struck a chord with me. All around me, I saw lives thrown into turmoil as big box stores pushed out small businesses, internet business models re-invent businesses that have been around for generations, technology have-nots getting left behind in the rapidly evolving workforce. Working with the smartest people in a top firm, I always have a bit of imposter syndrome and it drives me to grow and keep up with my peers. Reading this book reinforced my beliefs in handling change in a way that moves my life forward. I have no illusions that there are risks to continue to push forward, but it seems to be a certainty that you will get left behind if you don’t take the risks of change head on.
If you are looking for a simple view on how to handle change in a positive manner, try out Who Moved My Cheese.