Who Moved My Cheese |Spencer Johnson |Notes

This post contains the notes I’ve written classifying them in two major parts – Observations and Actionables. Where Observations are general notes from the book and Actionables are the things you can do in your life to deal with change.

Title: Who Moved My Cheese
Author: Spencer Johnson
Pages: 96
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Source: Goodreads

The word cheese in the book is a metaphor for what you have in life. It could be money, a relationship, family or your job. The book is a story about four characters in search of Cheese and how they deal with changing life situation which can be understood when the cheese is moved.


  • While dealing with change, we people hold on to the thoughts of what we once had instead of dealing with the reality of change and accepting the fact that we no longer have our cheese.
  • The more something means to us, we try to hold on to it even stronger.
  • When we achieve something, we get used to it, take it for granted and perhaps have a small level of arrogance associated with the success that blinds us from assessing the situation every day. We tend to be oblivious to the subtle changes happening until one day the change is too big to ignore and in some cases irreversible damage is already done.
  • Keeping a usual check of your cheese at regular time intervals helps us to assess the situation. Be sure to assess your cheese without any bias or expectations and try to accept things for what they are and not what they should have been. Living in denial makes things worse.
  • It is a natural assumption that change would lead to something worse! Well, it could lead to something better too!
    What you are afraid of is not always as bad as you imagine. The fear you build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.

He knew that what made him happy wasn’t just having cheese. He was happy when he wasn’t being run by his fear. He liked what he was doing now.

  • There may be new cheese out there whether you recognise it at the time or not and would be rewarded when you let go of the fear and enjoy the adventure.
  • What makes you happy is just not the final outcome that you dreamt. Rather it also is the journey to search for cheese.
  • When change occurs, you are usually too scared that you may not find any new calling and hence you don’t even start looking and are stuck right where you are. Waiting for cheese that will never arrive.
  • When change happens, you are usually too scared that you may not find any new calling or that you don’t even start looking.
  • It is safer to be aware of real choices than to isolate yourself in the comfort zone.

Repeating the same behaviour will just give you the same results.


  • Try thinking of what you can gain just as much as you think of what you can lose when dealing with change.
  • When you change what you believe, you change what you do.

Haw now realized that his new beliefs were encouraging new behaviours.

  • Laugh at your own follies- then you can let go and quickly move on.
  • To deal with change be more aware, keep things simple, be flexible and most importantly move quickly.
  • Instead of managing situations, begin leading the situations.
  • When dealing with groups, everyone must know how to deal with change and understand the ever-changing scenarios. And as a leader, you will have to bring the team up to date with the loss of cheese.
  • Always keep searching for alternatives and try having second plans just in case.

The above Observations and Actionables do summarize the book to a good extent. These are the points that have majorly resonated with me and you would find something of value through a reading of the book. Being a short read of just 96 pages, it would take about 1.5 hours!
I hope you found this to be valuable!

Featured Image: ellenhorn.com

4 thoughts on “Who Moved My Cheese |Spencer Johnson |Notes

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