Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
Who Moved My Cheese focuses on change. The story begins with the characters: Angela, Nathan, Carlos, and Jessica, and Michael who are old school friends who gather to reminisce about the different paths their lives have taken. The group all talks about how their lives have ended up completely unlike how they had expected. Michael offers his take on the theme of change and decides to share a story.
The story centers around two mice, Sniff and Scurry, and two "little people", Hem and Haw. The author utilizes a play on words when selecting the names of the characters. There is significance to the names Hem and Haw which is shown later by the little people's whiney and complaining nature early on in the story. The four characters live in a complex maze and are forced to find cheese to survive. While finding the cheese is somewhat easy at first, Hem and Haw decide to take comfort in their daily ritual because everyday they wake up, the cheese is always replenished. They never think of the "what if", when unexpectedly, the cheese is missing one day. In contrast to Hem and Haw, Sniff and Scurry are prepared for such an event making sure to carry their jogging shoes around their necks and searching for the next station of cheese as soon as the first is diminished. While Hem and Haw, literally, Hem and Haw at first, complaining and choosing to just sit around and wait for things to happen, they finally realize that they will die if they don't find more cheese.
The Mice are very practical and literal in their actions. In short, they do whatever they have to do and overcome any obstacle to obtain the cheese and survive. Of course, there are many setbacks in the maze, but they do not give up which is a recipe for success in today's business world. Fear of the unknown played a part in Hem and Haw not pursuing the other cheese. They were comfortable, they even admitting to being afraid of what the other obstacles and hardships the rest of the unexplored parts of the maze would bring. Haw realized that what you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. "The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists. He'd never been so afraid of never finding new cheese that he didn't even want to start looking." Taking that first step created a new outlook from Haw, "Since starting his journey, he had found enough cheese in the corridors to keep him going. Now he looked forward to...