Reader's Evaluation Of The Book Who Moved My Cheese?

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Who moved my cheese? Is a well-known business book that is not only highly recommended by extremely successful people but it is also proven to work immensely well in business situations as well as possible personal situations. It is a quick and essay book to ready that is very comical and educational. It keeps you engaged throughout the entire book that you can finish it within an hour or two and even possibly read it a few more times that is just how enjoyable it truly is. Not only would I recommend it for many businesses but for families as well, as these lessons in the book can be used to create better structure in one’s life even if you use it on your children, friends, etc. The book allows you to see yourself and to notice if you are a Sniff, Scurry, Haw, or Hem.


‘Who moved my cheese?’ is about four characters, two mice and two little people. Each day both pairs would go out to find their “cheese” which is a metaphor for what you want in life, whether it be a job, money or relationship you name it. Now one day both groups found a huge amount of cheese, the two humans decided to stop running there and settled down closer whereas the mice still ran each day, now the mice noticed the cheese was becoming less every day so when it was all gone, they did not panic. So, sniff went ahead and sniffed out the new cheese while scurry, hurried off in that direction and they found the new cheese in no time. Now Haw chose to not notice the fact that the cheese was becoming less and less, and Hem just hadn’t noticed. They spent days moping by their old cheese station when the cheese was gone, mainly complaining and asking, “Who moved my cheese?” Haw, however, finally realized he can’t sit there and starve and decided to get over his fear and return to the maze and Hem refused despite Haw’s hopes. Haw realized you should be prepared for life changes and eventually found new cheese and met up with the two mice, hoping that Hem would show one day. Yet Hem was stubborn and would rather wait for them to return the old cheese.

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The author’s objectives and main arguments:

“The story of Who moved my Cheese? Was created by Dr. Spencer Johnson to help him deal with a difficult change in his life. It showed him how to take his changing situation seriously but not take himself so seriously.” (Johnson, 1998)

Many of his friends such as Kenneth Blanchard urged him to publish his story of the cheese that they should not be a Hem and should be ready for change like Scurry or Sniff. Or to be willingly to accept change when it comes your way and to adapt like Haw.

Important arguments or points:

“The more important your cheese is to you, the more you want it.” Basically, entailing the less and harder it is to give it up.

“If you do not change, you can become extinct.” Those who don’t adapt in life and move on like the rest will get left behind and hence extinct.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid.” A motto you could say to yourself.

“The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese.” The faster you adapt, the more success you could achieve. (Johnson, 1998)

My evaluation:

20-year anniversary critical review:

“Snobs claimed to be lactose intolerant to Johnson’s wisdom, but millions of fans kept recommending the book to others. Why?”

“One of the most unlikely bestsellers.” Yet is known to have sold 30 million copies up to 2018 from its release date. “remains something of a mystery. Its phenomenal success exceeded the expectations of almost everyone.” (Charles, 2018)

Other reviews:

Fred Nickols believes the book should be called They moved, their cheese as it would be a reality slap that everyone needs but wouldn’t accept, because he says life is about gaining cheese and keeping it, instead of chasing after cheese that someone else controls. He also states it’s a simple concept and that most people might just hurt someone if they were to move their cheese. (Nickols, 2012, recently updated 2 August 2019 )

My evaluation:

Before I even began to read to book, I too wondered like Charles how can a book with such a random name be so famous and highly recommended. I then proceeded to read the comments and mini-reviews laid out for me at the start of the book as well as the story behind the story by Kenneth who expressed how thrilled he was that it was finally get published, I also then read the gathering, which is a story within the story. Which finally lead me to the book itself. I was immediately amused by the “Once long ago in a land far away,” as it made me feel as though some sort of fairy-tale was about to be told, so it immediately piqued my interest. Once they found a but load of cheese, I kept reading anxiously waiting to see when their cheese would get stolen and then it did. To which you get to see the different ways in which they dealt with the change, you could easily see throughout the book which character you should be more like, anyone but Hem really as after reading this book it’s a dreadful thought to think of you as a person being Hem or ever becoming a Hem and even Haw is a bit of a stretch, but at least he learned from his mistakes, whereas Scurry, and Sniff didn’t let there be time for mistakes and thought ahead and was prepared for the change. This is a valuable lesson, because no matter how bad you want things to stay the same, you should be ready for change and shouldn’t be afraid to accept it and go through it, or else you could be left behind like Hem.

The author to me achieved his objectives of getting his audience to really consider who they are in these situations and to accept change, it persuades you to try and be prepared and stay ready. I fully support all of his points, especially, “The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese” as it may be one of many of the points, but I feel it is the most important point.

However, I do also agree with the critical review of Nickols as before I read his review everything in both statements I said was all I thought of it, but now I also think that if people were able as he says move their own cheese, they wouldn’t be in the predicament of someone have had to move their cheese. And like he mentioned people are indeed protective of their cheese and he says if people just realized, they can move their own cheese change would be possible. Which I however believe to be not factual for all, because not everyone can move their own cheese, some people need to be the people moving with the cheese. As people like bosses, people in charge can move their own cheese as well as others’ cheese. And not everyone can be a boss, because then who would be the Scurry’s, Sniff’s, Haw’s, and Hem’s of the world?


The brilliant book Who Moved My Cheese? Not only earns it’s sport of bestseller but deserves it, as it is a book that motivates many people to adapt to change in a simple way. Which makes it a great read for all kind, meaning it can touch more lives than most self-help books. This book is a great help for businesses, for life, for relationships. It is a real help all over and is highly recommended by well-known people such as David A. Heenan, Board member (Peter F. Drucker Management center) or Michael Morley, Senior Vice President (Eastman Kodiak) and many more. And now it is being recommended by a student in school, as it touches people high in power, to education status.


  1. Charles, R., 2018. The Washington Post. [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 12 April 2020].
  2. Johnson, D. S., 1998. In: K. B. P. D, ed. Who moved my cheese?. London, United Kingdom: G.P Putnam’s Sons, p. 32.
  3. Nickols, F., 2012, recently updated 2 August 2019. Distance consulting. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 April 2020].   


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