I’ve read many books over the years and one has had a profound impact on my life. It’s changed my thinking and encouraged me to embrace change in whichever form I find it. The title of the book is “Who Moved My Cheese” by Dr. Spencer Johnson.
The book tells a story about 4 characters who lived in a maze and went in search of cheese daily. “Cheese” in this context is anything that makes you happy; be it a job, house, money, etc. When the cheese disappears from Cheese Station C, two of the characters (Scurry and Sniff) move on through the maze in search of new cheese. The other two (Hem and Haw) waste their time complaining and trying to understand where the cheese went, who moved it, and when it’s coming back.
There is a short film that tells the story beautifully and I recommend you watch at least once a year.
How My Life Changed
Since reading the book, I’ve changed the way I see the world. The story really got to me as it related to me on many levels.
It reminds me of time at work when my manager wanted me to take on additional work. I informed her that I was already working evenings and weekends so didn’t have the capacity to absorb additional work. I advised it might be an opportunity to bring in someone new on board to take on the additional work and also lighten my workload. She rolled her eyes at my suggestions, and immediately I knew what that meant. I was wasting my time complaining about my work-life balance.
Since that day, I promised myself that whenever I had the urge to complain about a situation, I would ask myself what I could do instead. Let’s just say I resigned shortly afterward and went down the freelancing route without a plan B. You can read all about it in my post about why I quit my job.
Times change and those who adapt are the ones that get ahead. There is no point in complaining about your current situation when you are not going to make a change. The government is not coming to your aid, your employer will not pay you more just because you want it when you are not providing value.
Change What You Do
I’ve seen what happens to people who are adverse to change and it’s sad to see. They complain all the time but are unwilling to make changes in their situation. In many cases, they enjoy wearing a pair of golden handcuffs. They complain about their managers, the economy, technology but never look at themselves.
The world is always changing so anticipate it and be ready to adapt. The quicker you let go of the old ways of doing things, the better you will be able to embrace new and better ways of doing things. There is no point in trying to repair your broken Nokia 7110 (matrix phone) when you can get a smartphone that can do much more.