Who Moved My Cheese Book Discussion Directions – Please read *carefully*  The topic of this group discussion is the book Who Moved My Cheese. After readin

Who Moved My Cheese Book Discussion Directions – Please read *carefully*

 The topic of this group discussion is the book Who Moved My Cheese. After reading the book, there are discussion topics posted here for you to think about, to analyze, and to discuss with your group members. The idea is for you to identify the learning from this book and to apply your learning. 

Answer the following three topics to post your original thoughts. 

Please see attached the book so you can answer each of the topics

Topic 1:

What do you think “Cheese” symbolizes in the context of Who Moved My Cheese? What does “cheese” signify for you in this context?

 Topic 2:

What do you think the “Maze” symbolizes in the context of Who Moved My Cheese? What does the ”maze” signify for you in this context?

 Topic 3:

In the context of Who Moved My Cheese, what does “What would you do if you weren’t afraid” mean? Please provide an example of a situation where “being afraid” could be a barrier to success. Who Moved My Cheese?
An A-Mazing Way To Deal With Change In Your Work

And In Your Life

Who Moved My Cheese? is a simple parable that reveals profound truths
about change. It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who
live in a ‘Maze’ and look for ‘Cheese’ to nourish them and make them happy.

Two are mice named Sniff and Scurry. And two are little people’ – beings the
size of mice who look and act a lot like people. Their names are Hem and
Haw. ‘Cheese’ is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – whether it’s a
good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, good health, or spiritual
peace of mind. And ‘The Maze’ is where you look for what you want – the
organization you work in, or the family or community you live in.

In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change. Eventually,
one of them deals with it successfully, and writes what he has learned from
his experience on the maze walls.

When you come to see ‘The Handwriting on the Wall’, you can discover for
yourself how to deal with change, so that you can enjoy less stress and more
success (however you define it) in your work and in your life.

Written for all ages, this story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique
insights can last for a lifetime.

Who Moved My Cheese?


Parts of All of Us

A Gathering: Chicago

Who Moved My Cheese?: The Story

Four Characters
Finding Cheese
No Cheese!
The Mice: Sniff & Scurry
The Little people: Hem & Haw
Meanwhile, Back In the Maze
Getting Beyond Fear
Enjoying The Adventure
Moving With The Cheese
The Handwriting On The Wall
Tasting New Cheese
Enjoying Change!

A Discussion: Later That Same Day

New Cheese !

Parts of All of Us
The Simple and The Complex
The four imaginary characters

depicted in this story —
the mice: “Sniff” and “Scurry;’ and

the Little people: “Hem” and “Haw” —
are intended to represent the simple and

the complex parts of ourselves, regardless of
our age, gender, race or nationality.

Sometimes we may act like


Who sniffs out change early, or

Who scurries into action, or


Who denies and resists change as he fears
it will lead to something worse, or


Who learns to adapt in time when he sees
changing can lead to something better!

Whatever parts of us we choose to use,

we all share something in common:
a need to find our way in the Maze

and succeed in changing times.

A Gathering

One sunny Sunday in Chicago, several former classmates, who were good
friends in school, gathered for lunch, having attended their high school
reunion the night before. They wanted to hear more about what was
happening in each other’s lives. After a good deal of kidding, and a good
meal, they settled into an interesting conversation.

Angela, who had been one of the most popular people in the class, said, “Life
sure turned out differently than I thought it would when we were in school. A
lot has changed.”

“It certainly has,” Nathan echoed. They knew he had gone into his family’s
business, which had operated pretty much the same and had been a part of
the local community for as long as they could remember. So, they were
surprised when he seemed concerned. He asked, “But, have you noticed
how we don’t want to change when things change?”

Carlos said, “I guess we resist changing, because we’re afraid of change.”

“Carlos, you were Captain of the football team” Jessica said. “I never thought
I’d hear you say anything about being afraid!”

They all laughed as they realized that although they had gone off in different
directions—from working at home to managing companies—they were
experiencing similar feelings.

Everyone was trying to cope with the unexpected changes that were
happening to them in recent years. And most admitted that they did not know
a good way to handle them.

Then Michael said, “I used to be afraid of change. When a big change came
along in our business, we didn’t know what to do. So we didn’t adjust and we
almost lost it.

“That is,” he continued, “until I heard a funny little story that changed

“How so?” Nathan asked.

“Well, the story changed the way I looked at change—from losing something
to gaining some-thing—and it showed me how to do it. After that, things
quickly improved—at work and in my life.

“At first I was annoyed with the obvious simplicity of the story because it
sounded like something we might have been told in school.

“Then I realized I was really annoyed with myself for not seeing the obvious
and doing what works when things change.

“When I realized the four characters in the story represented the various parts
of myself, I decided who I wanted to act like and I changed.

“Later, I passed the story on to some people in our company and they passed
it on to others, and soon our business did much better, because most of us
adapted to change better. And like me, many people said it helped them in
their personal lives.

“However there were a few people who said they got nothing out of it. They
either knew the lessons and were already living them, or, more commonly,
they thought they already knew everything and didn’t want to learn. They
couldn’t see why so many others were benefiting from it.

“When one of our senior executives, who was having difficulty adapting, said
the story was a waste of time, other people kidded him saying they knew
which character he was in the story—meaning the one who learned nothing
new and did not change.'”

“What’s the story?” Angela asked.

“It’s called. Who Moved My Cheese?”

The group laughed. “I think I like it already,” Carlos said. “Would you tell us
the story? Maybe we can get something from it.”

“Sure,” Michael replied. “I’d be happy to—it doesn’t take long.” And so he

Who Moved My Cheese? The Story

UNCE, long ago in a land far away, there lived four little characters who ran
through a Maze looking for cheese to nourish them and make them happy.

Two were mice, named “Sniff” and “Scurry” and two were Little people—
beings who were as small as mice but who looked and acted a lot like people
today. Their names were “Hem” and “Haw.”

Due to their small size, it would be easy not to notice what the four of them
were doing. But if you looked closely enough, you could discover the most
amazing things!

Every day the mice and the Little people spent time in the Maze looking for
their own special cheese.

The mice. Sniff and Scurry, possessing simple brains and good instincts,
searched for the hard nibbling cheese they liked, as mice often do.

The two Little people, Hem and Haw, used their complex brains, filled with
many beliefs and emotions, to search for a very different kind of Cheese—
with a capital C—which they believed would make them feel happy and

As different as the mice and Little people were, they shared something in
common: every morning, they each put on their jogging suits and running
shoes, left their little homes, and raced out into the Maze looking for their
favourite cheese.

The Maze was a labyrinth of corridors and chambers, some containing
delicious cheese. But there were also dark corners and blind alleys leading
nowhere. It was an easy place for anyone to get lost.

However, for those who found their way, the Maze held secrets that let them
enjoy a better life. The mice, Sniff and Scurry, used the simple trial-and-error
method of finding cheese. They ran down one corridor, and if it proved empty,
they turned and ran down another. They remembered the corridors that held
no cheese and quickly went into new areas.

Sniff would smell out the general direction of the cheese, using his great nose,
and Scurry would race ahead. They got lost, as you might expect, went off in
the wrong direction and often bumped into walls.

But after a while, they found their way.

Like the mice, the two Little people, Hem and Haw, also used their ability to
think and learn from their past experiences. However, they relied on their
complex brains to develop more sophisticated methods of finding Cheese.

Sometimes they did well, but at other times their powerful human beliefs and

emotions took over and clouded the way they looked at things. It made life in
the Maze more complicated and challenging.

Nonetheless, Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw all discovered, in their own way,
what they were looking for. They each found their own kind of cheese one
day at the end of one of the corridors in cheese Station C.

Every morning after that, the mice and the Little people dressed in their
running gear and headed over to Cheese Station C. It wasn’t long before they
each established their own routine.

Sniff and Scurry continued to wake early every day and race through the
Maze, always following the same route.

When they arrived at their destination, the mice took off their running shoes,
tied them together and hung them around their necks—so they could get to
them quickly whenever they needed them again.

Then they enjoyed the cheese.

In the beginning Hem and Haw also raced toward Cheese Station C every
morning to enjoy the tasty new morsels that awaited them. But after a while, a
different routine set in for the Little people.

Hem and Haw awoke each day a little later, dressed a little slower, and
walked to Cheese Station C. After all, they knew where the Cheese was now
and how to get there.

They had no idea where the Cheese came from, or who put it there. They just
assumed it would be there.

As soon as Hem and Haw arrived at Cheese Station C each morning, they
settled in and made themselves at home. They hung up their jogging suits,
put away their running shoes and put on their slippers. They were becoming
very comfortable now that they had found the Cheese.

“This is great” Hem said. “There’s enough Cheese here to last us forever.”
The Little people felt happy and successful, and thought they were now

It wasn’t long before Hem and Haw regarded the Cheese they found at
Cheese Station C as their cheese. It was such a large store of Cheese that
they eventually moved their homes to be closer to it, and built a social life
around it.

To make themselves feel more at home, Hem and Haw decorated the walls
with sayings and even drew pictures of Cheese around them which made
them smile. One read:

Sometimes Hem and Haw would take their friends by to see their pile of
Cheese at Cheese Station C, and point to it with pride, saying, “Pretty
nice Cheese, hub?” Sometimes they shared it with their friends and
sometimes they didn’t.

“We deserve this Cheese,”‘ Hem said. “We certainly had to work long and
hard enough to find it.” He picked up a nice fresh piece and ate it. Afterward,
Hem fell asleep, as he often did.

Every night the Little people would waddle home, full of Cheese, and every
morning they would confidently return for more. This went on for quite some

After a while Hem’s and Haw’s confidence grew into the arrogance of
success. Soon they became so comfortable they didn’t even notice what was

As time went on. Sniff and Scurry continued their routine. They arrived early
each morning and sniffed and scratched and scurried around Cheese Station
C, inspecting the area to see if there had been any changes from the day
before. Then they would sit down to nibble on the cheese.

One morning they arrived at Cheese Station C and discovered there was no

They weren’t surprised. Since Sniff and Scurry had noticed the supply of
cheese had been getting smaller every day, they were prepared for the
inevitable and knew instinctively what to do.

They looked at each other, removed the running shoes they had tied together
and hung conveniently around their necks, put them on their feet and laced
them up.

The mice did not over analyze things. To the mice, the problem and the

answer were both simple. The situation at Cheese Station C had changed.
So, Sniff and Scurry decided to change.
They both looked out into the Maze. Then Sniff lifted his nose, sniffed, and
nodded to Scurry, who took off running through the Maze, while Sniff
followed as fast as he could.

They were quickly off in search of New Cheese.

Later that same day, Hem and Haw arrived at Cheese Station C. They had
not been paying attention to the small changes that had been taking place
each day, so they took it for granted their Cheese would be there. They were
unprepared for what they found.

“What! No Cheese?” Hem yelled. He continued yelling, “No Cheese? No
Cheese?” as though if he shouted loud enough someone would put it back.

“Who moved my Cheese?” he hollered.

Finally, he put his hands on his hips, his face turned red, and he screamed at
the top of his voice, “It’s not fair!”

Haw just shook his head in disbelief. He, too, had counted on finding Cheese
at Cheese Station C. He stood there for a long time, frozen with shock. He
was just not ready for this. Hem was yelling something, but Haw didn’t
want to hear it. He didn’t want to deal with what was facing him, so he just
tuned everything out.

The Little people’s behavior was not very attractive or productive, but it was
understandable. Finding Cheese wasn’t easy, and it meant a great deal more
to the Little people than just having enough of it to eat every day.

Finding Cheese was the Little people’s way of getting what they thought they
needed to be happy. They had their own ideas of what Cheese meant to
them, depending on their taste.

For some, finding Cheese was having material things. For others it was
enjoying good health or developing a spiritual sense of well-being.

For Haw, Cheese just meant feeling safe, having a loving family someday and
living in a cozy cottage on Cheddar Lane.

To Hem, Cheese was becoming a Big Cheese in charge of others and owning
a big house atop Camembert Hill.

Because Cheese was important to them, the two Little people spent a long
time trying to decide what to do. All they could think of was to keep looking
around Cheeseless Station C to see if the Cheese was really gone.

While Sniff and Scurry had quickly moved on, Hem and Haw continued to
hem and haw. They ranted and raved at the injustice of it all. Haw started to

get depressed. What would happen if the Cheese wasn’t there tomorrow? He
had made future plans based on this Cheese.
The Little people couldn’t believe it. How could this have happened? No one
had warned them. It wasn’t right. It was not the way things were supposed
to be.

Hem and Haw went home that night hungry and discouraged. But before they
left. Haw wrote on the wall:

The next day Hem and Haw left their homes, and returned to Cheese Station
C again, where they still expected, somehow, to find their Cheese.

The situation hadn’t changed, the Cheese was no longer there. The Little
people didn’t know what to do. Hem and Haw just stood there, immobilized
like two statues.

Haw shut his eyes as tight as he could and put his hands over his ears. He
just wanted to block everything out. He didn’t want to know the Cheese supply
had gradually been getting smaller. He believed it had been moved all of a

Hem analyzed the situation over and over and eventually his complicated
brain with its huge belief system took hold. “Why did they do this to me?”
he demanded. “What’s really going on here?”

Finally, Haw opened his eyes, looked around and said, “By the way, where
are Sniff and Scurry? Do you think they know something we don’t?” Hem
scoffed, “What would they know?”

Hem continued, “They’re just mice. They just respond to what happens. We’re
Little people. We’re smarter than mice. We should be able to figure this out.”
“I know we’re smarter,” Haw said, “but we don’t seem to be acting smarter at
the moment.

Things are changing around here, Hem. Maybe we need to change and do
things differently.”

“Why should we change?” Hem asked. “We’re Little people. We’re special.
This sort of thing should not happen to us. Or if it does, we should at least
get some benefits.”
“Why should we get benefits?” Haw asked.

“Because we’re entitled,” Hem claimed.

“Entitled to what?” Haw wanted to know.

“We’re entitled to our Cheese.”

“Why?” Haw asked.

“Because, we didn’t cause this problem,” Hem said. “Somebody else did this
and we should get something out of it.”

Haw suggested, “Maybe we should simply stop analyzing the situation so
much and go find some New Cheese?”

“Oh no,” Hem argued. “I’m going to get to the bottom of this.”

While Hem and Haw were still trying to decide what to do. Sniff and Scurry
were already well on their way. They went farther into the Maze, up and
down corridors, looking for cheese in every Cheese Station they could find.
They didn’t think of anything else but finding New Cheese.

They didn’t find any for some time until they finally went into an area of the
Maze where they had never been before: Cheese Station N.

They squealed with delight. They found what they had been looking for: a
great supply of New Cheese.

They could hardly believe their eyes. It was the biggest store of cheese the
mice had ever seen.

In the meantime, Hem and Haw were still back in Cheese Station C valuating
their situation. They were now suffering from the effects of having no Cheese.
They were becoming frustrated and angry and were blaming each other for
the situation they were in.

Now and then Haw thought about his mice friends. Sniff and Scurry, and
wondered if they had found any cheese yet. He believed they might be having
a hard time, as running through the Maze usually involved some uncertainty.
But he also knew that it was likely to only last for a while.

Sometimes, Haw would imagine Sniff and Scurry finding New Cheese and
enjoying it. He thought about how good it would be for him to be out on an
adventure in the Maze, and to find fresh New Cheese. He could almost taste

The more clearly Haw saw the image of himself finding and enjoying the New
Cheese, the more he saw himself leaving Cheese Station C.

“Let’s go!” he exclaimed, all of a sudden.

“No” Hem quickly responded. “I like it here.

It’s comfortable. It’s what I know. Besides it’s dangerous out there.”

“No it isn’t” Haw argued. “We’ve run through many parts of the Maze before,
and we can do it again.”

“I’m getting too old for that,” Hem said. “And I’m afraid I’m not interested in
getting lost and making a fool of myself. Are you?”

With that. Haw’s fear of failing returned and his hope of finding New Cheese

So every day, the Little people continued to do what they had done before.
They went to Cheese Station C, found no Cheese, and returned home,
carrying their worries and frustrations with them.

They tried to deny what was happening, but found it harder to get to sleep,
had less energy the next day, and were becoming irritable.

Their homes were not the nurturing places they once were. The Little people
had difficulty sleeping and were having nightmares about not finding any

But Hem and Haw still returned to Cheese Station C and waited there every

Hem said, “You know if we just work harder we’ll find that nothing has really
changed that much. The Cheese is probably nearby. Maybe they just hid it
behind the wall.”

The next day. Hem and Haw returned with tools. Hem held the chisel, while
Haw banged on the hammer until they made a hole in the wall of Cheese
Station C. They peered inside but found no Cheese.

They were disappointed but believed they could solve the problem. So they
started earlier, stayed longer, and worked harder. But after a while, all they
had was a large hole in the wall.

Haw was beginning to realize the difference between activity and productivity.
“Maybe,” Hem said, “we should just sit here and see what happens. Sooner or
later they have to put the Cheese back.”

Haw wanted to believe that. So each day he went home to rest and returned

reluctantly with Hem to Cheese Station C. But Cheese never reappeared.

By now the Little people were growing weak from hunger and stress. Haw
was getting tired of just waiting for their situation to improve. He began to see
that the longer they stayed in their Cheeseless situation, the worse off they
would be.

Haw knew they were losing their edge.

Finally, one day Haw began laughing at himself.

“Haw, haw, look at us. We keep doing the same things over and over again
and wonder why things don’t get better. If this wasn’t so ridiculous, it would
be even funnier.”

Haw did not like the idea of having to run through the Maze again, because he
knew he would get lost and have no idea where he would find any Cheese.

But he had to laugh at his folly when he saw what his fear was doing to him.
He asked Hem, “Where did we put our running shoes?” It took a long time to
find them because they had put everything away when they found their
Cheese at Cheese Station C, thinking they wouldn’t be needing them

As Hem saw his friend getting into his running gear, he said, “You’re not really
going out into the Maze again, are you? Why don’t you just wait here with me
until they put the Cheese back?”

“Because, you just don’t get it,” Haw said. “I didn’t want to see it either, but
now I realize they’re never going to put yesterday’s Cheese back. It’s time to
find New Cheese.”

Hem argued, “But what if there is no Cheese out there? Or even if there is,
what if you don’t find it?”

“I don’t know,” Haw said. He had asked himself those same questions too
many times and felt the fears again that kept him where he was.

He asked himself, “Where am I more likely to find Cheese—here or in the

He painted a picture in his mind. He saw himself venturing out into the Maze
with a smile on his face.

While this picture surprised him, it made him feel good. He saw himself
getting lost now and then in the Maze, but felt confident he would eventually
find New Cheese out there and all the good things that came with it. He
gathered his courage.

Then he used his imagination to paint the most believable picture he could—

with the most realistic details—of him finding and enjoying the taste of New

He saw himself eating Swiss cheese with holes in it, bright orange Cheddar
and American cheeses, Italian Mozzarella and wonderfully soft French
Camembert Cheese, and….

Then he heard Hem say something and realized they were still at Cheese
Station C.

Haw said, “Sometimes, Hem, things change and they are never the same
again. This looks like one of those times. That’s life! Life moves on. And so
should we.”

Haw looked at his emaciated companion and tried to talk sense to him, but
Hem’s fear had turned into anger and he wouldn’t listen.

Haw didn’t mean to be rude to his friend, but he had to laugh at how silly they
both looked.

As Haw prepared to leave, he started to feel more alive, knowing that he was
finally able to laugh at himself, let go and move on.

Haw laughed and announced, “It’s … Maze … time!”

Hem didn’t laugh and he didn’t respond.

Haw picked up a small, sharp rock and wrote a serious thought on the wall for
Hem to think about.

As was his custom. Haw even drew a picture of cheese around it, hoping it
would help Hem to smile, lighten up, and go after the New Cheese. But Hem
didn’t want to see it.

It read:

Then, Haw stuck his head out and peered anxiously into the Maze. He
thought about how he’d gotten himself into this cheeseless situation.

He had believed that there may not be any Cheese in the Maze, or he may
not find it. Such fearful beliefs were immobilizing and killing him.

Haw smiled. He knew Hem was wondering,

“Who moved my cheese?” but Haw was wondering, “Why didn’t I get up and
move with the Cheese, sooner?”

As he started out into the Maze, Haw looked back to where he had come from
and felt its comfort. He could feel himself being drawn back into familiar
territory—even though he hadn’t found Cheese here for some time.

Haw became more anxious and wondered if he really wanted to go out into
the Maze. He wrote a saying on the wall ahead of him and stared at it for
some time:

He thought about it.

He knew sometimes some fear can be good.

When you are afraid things are going to get worse if you don’t do something, it
can prompt you into action. But it is not good when you are so afraid that it
keeps you from doing anything.

He looked to his right, to the part of the Maze where he had never been, and
felt the fear.

Then, he took a deep breath, turned right into the Maze, and jogged slowly,
into the unknown.

As he tried to find his way. Haw worried, at first, that he might have waited too
long in Cheese Station C. He hadn’t had any Cheese for so long that he was
now weak. It took him longer and it was more painful than usual to get
through the Maze.

He decided that if he ever got the chance again, he would get out of his
comfort zone and adapt to change sooner. It would make things easier.
Then, Haw smiled a weak smile as he thought, “Better late than never.”

During the next several days, Haw found a little Cheese here and there, but
nothing that lasted very long. He had hoped to find enough Cheese to take
some back to Hem and encourage him to come out into the Maze.

But Haw didn’t feel confident enough yet. He had to admit he found it
confusing in the Maze.

Things seemed to have changed since the last time he was out here.

Just when he thought he was getting ahead, he would get lost in the corridors.
It seemed his progress was two steps forward and one step backward. It was
a challenge, but he had to admit that being back in the Maze, hunting for
Cheese, wasn’t nearly as bad as he feared it might be.

As time went on he began to wonder if it was realistic for him to expect to find
New Cheese. He wondered if he had bitten off more than he could chew.
Then he laughed, realizing that he had nothing to chew on at that moment.

Whenever he started to get discouraged, he reminded himself that what he
was doing, as uncomfortable as it was at the moment, was in reality much
better than staying in the Cheeseless situation. He was taking control, rather
than simply letting things happen to him.

Then he reminded himself, if Sniff and Scurry could move on, so could he!

Later, as Haw looked back on things, he realized that the Cheese at Cheese
Station C had not just disappeared overnight, as he had once believed.

The amount of Cheese that had been there toward the end had been getting
smaller, and what was left had grown old. It didn’t taste as good.

Mold may even have begun to grow on the Old Cheese, although he hadn’t
noticed it. He had to admit however, that if he had wanted to, he probably
could have seen what was coming. But he didn’t.

Haw now realized that the change probably would not have taken him by
surprise if he had been watching what was happening all along and if he had
anticipated change. Maybe that’s what Sniff and Scurry had been doing.

He decided he would stay more alert from now on. He would expect change
to happen and look for it. He would trust his basic instincts to sense when
change was going to occur and be ready to adapt to it.

He stopped for a rest and wrote on the wall of the Maze:

Sometime later, after not finding Cheese for what seemed like a long time,
Haw finally came across a huge Cheese Station, which looked promising.
When he went inside, however, he was most disappointed to discover that the
Cheese Station was empty.

“This empty feeling has happened to me too often,” he thought. He felt like
giving up. Haw was losing his physical strength. He knew he was lost and was
afraid he would not survive.

He thought about turning around and heading back to Cheese Station C. At
least, if he made it back, and Hem was still there, Haw wouldn’t be alone.

Then he asked himself the same question again, “What would I do if I weren’t

Haw …

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