The winning path to life | Sunday Observer

The winning path to life

20 September, 2020

Dr. Spencer Johnson’s book ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ is a short and simple, light-hearted parable about change.  Although it was first published in 1998 its content is valid even in today’s context.

In a recent write-up, the president of Accrue Performance Marketing,  John Watson said, “With the Covid-19 pandemic, the 96-page book is more relevant now than ever”. 

It describes a modest way to deal with the changes in your work and in your daily life. For this reason it is regarded as a great motivational business fable. 

The book has been translated to over 40 languages worldwide and over 30 million copies have been sold.

That itself is a testimony to the high importance of the insights of the story in the book.

It has now been translated to Sinhala with the title Divi Maga Dinana Maga (Winning Path To Life) by Ajantha Seneviratne. It is a Sarasavi Publication.  

The story features four characters, two mice and two little people.  They live in a maze and look for cheese.

The mice and humans, in pairs, travel through the lengthy corridors of the large twisting maze searching for cheese.

It’s not simple by any means as the journey is a physically as well as emotionally difficult one for these four little characters as they search for their favorite food, cheese.

While they were enjoying cheese in a Cheese Station, suddenly, the situation changes.

The four characters explore various ways to respond to the change that they come across, unexpectedly. There we understand how the four characters act like various types of  behaviour that we have in us.

Though it’s seemingly simple, the book captures and explores powerful and resonant truths that could be seen in us.

According to Johnson, cheese is a metaphor for what you want in life. It can be a good job, a loving relationship, money, possessions, health or spiritual peace of mind.

On the other hand, maze is where you look for it:  the organisation you work for, the family or community you live in. 

The story in the book is divided into three sections. In the first section named ‘A Gathering’, a set of former classmates talk about the changes that have been affecting their lives and their means and ways of trying to deal with those changes.

Each of them was talking about how their lives turned out differently than they had thought during school days.

The second section is the actual core story of the book: Who Moved My Cheese? When faced with change, the two mice do better because they keep things simple, while the complex brains of the two little people and human emotions complicate things for them though, we all know that people are more intelligent than mice. You will get the answer to this by reading the book.  

The third section ‘A Discussion’ is where the former classmates meet again to discuss how the story they heard could impact their individual lives.

Each started to compare themselves against the four characters to see how changes in their own lives have evolved and how they have reacted to them. 

The ultimate message in the book is: As Change is inevitable we should anticipate it, adapt to it and learn to enjoy it.

Because of the strong message it is equally important to all ages.