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Wednesday / August 17.
HomemilastwordThe Last Word: The Disappearing Cheese

The Last Word: The Disappearing Cheese

Much has been written about the changing landscape of optometry and the different means of keeping pace and dealing with this brave new world. However, sometimes the best method is to go back to basics and review timeproven advice.

Such advice can be found in Dr. Spencer Johnson’s very simple book Who Moved My Cheese?

The book follows the story of four characters (two mice and two miniature humans) who live in a maze. They live off a reliable source of cheese that is magically replenished every day. After many years of reliable cheese deliveries they begin to notice that the size of the daily cheese delivery is reducing until, one day, it suddenly stops.

This simple story outlines the basic truths to individuals and organisations when dealing with change.

The ‘Maze’ is a metaphor for our environment: the businesses or organisations we work for, the society we live in, our relationships, the places we go to fulfill our wants and needs.

The ‘Cheese’ is a metaphor for happiness and success, all the things we aspire to have. e.g. rewarding career good health, loving relationships, wealth, peace of mind etc.

In the story, the two humans remain cheese-less due to lack of preparation, denial and fear of the unknown. On the other hand, the two mice work together to eventually succeed. In an effort to share what they have learnt along the way, they write about their personal discoveries on the maze walls, the ‘Handwriting on the Wall’.

Likewise, for any of us, when we start to see the “writing on the wall”, we discover the simplicity and necessity of adapting to change. Some of us embrace change and succeed, while others put their head in the sand and keep doing what they’ve been doing for decades, hoping the ‘Cheese’ will return.

It’s no good complaining, blaming others or living in regret, about the increasing failure of your once profitable business, if you’re not prepared to do something about it and change. Who Moved My Cheese? is a book full of modern day insights. Easily read in one sitting, it invites individuals and organisations to live with less stress and more success by learning to deal with the inevitable change.

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