I think it was very timely that Arjay bought a new book for me last week. One, because I haven’t been reading a lot of books (note: haven’t been reading a lot = 0 books) for, don’t be shocked, almost two years! And two, his book choice, Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese? is the perfect getting-back-into-the-habit-of-reading book for me because it talks about a topic that hits me to the core.
Who Moved My Cheese? is a book about dealing with change in your work and in life. It is written in the style of a parable with four characters: two mice named Sniff and Scurry and two “littlepeople” named Hem and Haw. The four characters represent people’s typical reactions when a change happens in one’s life.
I love how the book relays a very simple message, but leaves a huge impact. My favorite part in the book was when I came upon this question:
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WEREN’T AFRAID?
Gosh, what a question! It made me pause from reading and reflect. What would I do if I weren’t afraid? A lot of things!
Last year, I remember talking to A about enrolling in a computer/design course in UP or Ateneo. I never enrolled because I was afraid I couldn’t handle working, homemaking, two toddlers AND studying. But, there was more behind not being able to handle everything — and that was the fear of failing in one or more aspects of my life because I was getting into too many things.
I was afraid of being judged, too. I didn’t want other people to think I wasted my four years in Ateneo as a European Studies student only to take another course years after graduating. I was afraid that my parents might shake their heads in disappointment because they spent their money on a course I wouldn’t use.
What could have happened if I weren’t afraid and just enrolled? I could have finished my first year by now. I could have been practicing what I learned already. I could have been doing something I love and enjoy.
I have a long list of should have, would have, could haves if I didn’t let fear of judgment and failure get to me. But there’s no point in crying over spilled milk, right?
Who Moved My Cheese? reminded me that although it’s totally fine to hem and haw for a while when we are struck by a sudden change, the most important thing is to learn from what happened and take action.
Here’s a short animated film based on the book:
The film summarizes the message of the book, but I highly recommend that you read it page-per-page to get the full experience. The book is no more than PHP300 at National Bookstore. :)