I loved “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr Spencer Johnson, and many others think so too – in 2005 Amazon reported it was their number-one best-selling book of all time. In just 96 pages, it deals with how to anticipate and adapt to change and to enjoy the process.
Spencer Johnson himself felt that this was not the end of the story – many readers wanted to know why we sometimes adapt well to change, and other times we don’t, and how to adapt to a changing world sooner and more easily. “Out of the Maze” answers those questions.
The original book is a tale of four characters: Hem and Haw – the Littlepeople, and Sniff and Scurry, who are mice. “Cheese” is a metaphor for what you want in life – a good job, a loving relationship, health, wealth, or spirituality and peace of mind.
The book starts with the question “What happened to Hem?” You will remember the two Littlepeople, Hem and Haw, who had built their lives on a seemingly unending supply of Cheese without understanding where it came from. And then, one day, it wasn’t there. Haw went in search of New Cheese and found it – he understood that life moves on, and so should he; he adapted to the change, and it worked out well for him. Meanwhile, Hem was left behind, sure that if he stood his ground, things would turn around. But they didn’t.
Eventually, Hem realises that if he doesn’t find Cheese he will die, and this is the story of how he escaped the maze.
The core message of the book is about how our beliefs can hold us back. Some beliefs are fundamental to who you are – these are your core values; other things that you trust are true are not necessarily so – these are beliefs that can hold you back or lift you up – changing what you think doesn’t need to change who you are.
So if you are stubbornly holding on to limiting beliefs (and yes, I have a few of my own) – ask yourself what would you do if it wasn’t true?