The Universe and Me

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Who Moved My Cheese?

Some weeks ago Chris asked me to read the book Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson and explain why the tremendous appeal. The more staggering thing to me is the book's price, $19.95. What should have been published as a five page pamphlet is stretched out to 94 pages (although the preface ends on page 18) with about a dozen full page illustrations, using a way too large font, and just plain immense top and bottom margins. Guess who's in line at the bank ahead of you, grinning? You're much better off leaving this overpriced marketing ploy at Walden's and borrowing a copy from your friendly local librarians. In reading it, here's what I learned:
  • We feel secure in our comfy routines, happiness and success.
  • Confidence grows into arrogance and a feeling of entitlement. We feel we deserve the things we work for.
  • When we lose what we've worked for, we become frustrated and angry and place the blame on others. These emotions cloud how we should be viewing the situation.
  • We need to change the way we look at change. It can be invigorating and lead to improvements.
  • We need to adapt to change, take control instead of just sitting around waiting for the situation to improve.
  • Life is full of continual changes and we need to learn to anticipate them to know what to do when they happen.
I have a feeling the author was in his college dorm room, listening to REO Speedwagon's "Roll With The Changes" and staring at his roommate's "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade" poster, marvelling at the fact that these pithy sayings were making people rich and figured he could one-up them. We want quick, simple answers to life's problems and that's what this book provides (and probably why it's so popular), providing you have simplistic problems. If one of those lemons conceals a hand grenade or a piece of cheese is laced with cyanide, you won't be laughing at your own folly for not seeing it coming (as the book advises). Yeah, good luck there.


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