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Who Moved My Cheese Summary

Here’s the Who Moved My Cheese summary. Learn that our attitude about change is one of the things that matter. Learn how to deal with unprecedented change by constantly moving and looking for new opportunities.


Who Moved My Cheese author Spencer Johnson tells how we can deal with change and uncertainty by way of a story. Two mice and two little people have each a different attitude toward change. The cheese represents what we call success.

The story started when the characters found an abundant cheese supply. But one day the cheese supply is gone because of everyday consumption and other causes. The two mice prepared for this so they just moved on. But one of the little people asked, “Who moved my cheese?”

The humans felt they are victims. The mice kept searching. The mice then found a new cheese supply after a difficult search through the maze. One of the little people also did that after some time.

The main lesson is that the cheese keeps moving. As a result, we must also keep moving. The supply might run out anytime. The solution is to keep looking and exploring by overcoming our fears.

About the Author

Spencer Johnson is one of the popular authors who take complex subjects and present simple solutions that work. His books has already helped millions of people achieve more happiness and success with less stress.

Aside from the Who Moved My Cheese, he also wrote The One Minute Manager, Yes or No: The Guide to Better Decisions, The Present, and other brief books that contain timeless advice.

Main takeaways: Who Moved My Cheese Summary

Let’s discuss the key takeaways from his book:

  1. Always prepare for change.
  2. Stop blaming others, start searching for new opportunities.
  3. Get moving if you want new cheese.

Always prepare for change

Change always happens no matter what we do. The best we can do about it is to prepare. Gone are the days when we can enjoy a nice salary for the rest of our working lives. One economic downturn or one “change” can make our jobs or businesses disappear.

Yes it’s frightening and disappointing. But we got not choice but to adapt and survive. Well, some people might be lucky to avoid those big changes. However, we shouldn’t count on it. For the most of us, it’s likely we’ll experience one or few big changes.

Remember what the mice did earlier when the cheese supply run out? They just moved on and started searching. That’s because they’ve already prepared themselves for the situation. They’re always ready to find a new cheese supply.

The humans in the story got comfortable and set established routines. They thought that the cheese supply is going to last forever. When the inevitable finally occurred, they found it hard to move on.

It happens often in the real world. When something bad happens, many blame others. That blaming often leaves us powerless and feeling victims. The result is we’ll find it hard to move on and search for new opportunities.

Stop blaming others, start searching for new opportunities

For the most of us, we can’t help blaming other people, the management, and the government. However, we can’t dwell on that. Time flies no matter what we do. The only choice we have is to move forward.

Some changes hurt us really bad. It affects our livelihood and the future of our children. But if we keep blaming others, we won’t be able to move forward.

The answer is to start looking for solutions. It’s ideal that the next day after the big change, we start searching for those solutions. This way, somehow we minimize the effect of the change.

Then, as we start getting comfortable with our new job or business, we should remind ourselves of the lessons from the past. We now know that change is going to happen no matter what. So even while we’re working at our present job or business, we should still look for a “new cheese supply.”

It’s a bitter pill to swallow. It’s also exhausting especially if we’re juggling our responsibilities. But the pain is greater if we were not able to cope with change.

Get moving if you want new cheese

Thinking of new strategies and rationalizations won’t always lead us to finding success or happiness. If we always think about it, we won’t act as a result.

We even think about if a new achievement will make us happy. We even think what kind of cheese will give us the most satisfaction. But that thinking actually leads us nowhere. Many of us feel depressed just because of that.

The answer is to just keep moving. We’ll never find something unless we act. Our knowledge about future and any situation is always incomplete. In many cases, we’ll never find out unless we get there.

No matter where we are, we should keep exploring. We’ll never know what lies ahead in the next corner. Yes we should still be cautious. But nothing happens unless we act.

That’s what the mice did when the cheese supply run out. They just moved on and looked for a new cheese supply. They never got comfortable with the routine. They know in the back of their minds that change is inevitably coming. In real animals, that’s their instinct to act immediately.

We humans are complicated creatures. We like making things more complicated than is necessary. We like to think things over. We like to rationalize and think of something else before doing anything.

So if we always want to find new cheese, we should just get moving. Don’t ask “Who moved my cheese?” Instead, run and search for a new one.

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