Book Summary of the “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson

The Art of Adaptation: 'Who Moved My Cheese?' Book Summary"

Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson is a motivational business fable that explores the complexities of dealing with change in work and life. The story is set in a maze, where four characters — two mice named “Sniff” and “Scurry,” and two little people named “Hem” and “Haw” — search for cheese, which represents happiness and success.

Key Themes

Adapting to Change: The central theme of the book is about adapting to change. The cheese in the maze is a metaphor for what we want in life (be it a job, a relationship, or wealth), and the maze represents the environment we live in.

Different Approaches to Change: The four characters have distinct approaches to change. Sniff and Scurry are simple-minded but quick to act, while Hem and Haw are more complex but prone to overthinking and resisting change.

The Story

The Discovery of Cheese: Initially, all four characters find a huge source of cheese and believe it will last forever. This represents comfort and complacency in familiar situations.

The Cheese Disappears: One day, the cheese is gone. Sniff and Scurry immediately accept the change and start looking for new cheese. Hem and Haw, however, are shocked and feel victimized, refusing to accept the change.

Different Reactions: Hem remains in denial, insisting the old cheese will return. Haw, after some hesitation, learns to adapt. He ventures into the maze in search of new cheese, leaving behind messages on the wall for Hem, hoping he will embrace the change too.

Finding New Cheese: Eventually, Haw finds new cheese and learns valuable lessons about adapting to change. He realizes that change is inevitable and can lead to better things.

Lessons Learned

Anticipate Change: Be aware that change can and will happen.

Adapt Quickly to Change: The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese.

Change: Move with the cheese and enjoy the change!

Enjoy Change: Savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese!

Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy It Again: They keep moving the cheese.


“Who Moved My Cheese?” is a simple yet profound tale. Its messages about anticipating, adapting to, and enjoying change are universal and applicable to various aspects of life. It encourages readers to step out of their comfort zones, adapt to new situations, and be open to new opportunities, which is especially relevant in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world.