Recently, in my little corner of the ‘Ville, change happened. A colleague who had been by my side since my first day here moved on. She didn’t just move on, she moved out of state, actually. And, she wasn’t just a fellow employee, she was, professionally speaking, my rock; personally speaking, a cherished friend. As someone who has always been flexible with change, I stiffened with this one. It was too much to accept and I let my despondency get the better of me for a good week or more. Tears in the bathroom stall, tears walking the aisles at Target, tears as I type this now. (I guess I haven’t quite recovered yet, have I?)
I realized I needed to snap out of it, so I dug out a piece of my own advice—a post I wrote last year around this time—about dealing with change. Since it bears repeating for my own benefit, I figured it would be a worth re-sharing with our readers, too. After all, change happens every day to all of us in some form: new people come in, familiar faces leave; new technology is embraced, old ways are abandoned. With that in mind, here’s the meat of that post…
To learn, grow, and progress, we know we must change—except few people want to... which got me thinking about a book I received at a pivotal moment of change in my life. It was called "Who Moved My Cheese?" Maybe you've heard of it, maybe you haven't. I'll summarize it just in case:
In essence, the story is about four characters (two are mice) who have come to rely on a source of cheese that has been a constant in their lives. When the supply of cheese begins to dwindle and eventually is gone (or moved), the characters all handle it differently. Some saw change coming and addressed it, while others wasted time in denial.
The book has been both lauded as a business essential and criticized for being simple, childish, and patronizing. Had it not entered my life like a shovel to the head, maybe I would have had some disdain for it, too. But, if you can strip away the cartoonish and contrived, the message is absolutely spot on. It goes like this:
They Keep Moving the Cheese
Get Ready for the Cheese to Move
Smell the Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old
Adapt To Change Quickly
The Quicker You Let Go of Old Cheese, the Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese
Move With the Cheese
Savor the Adventure and Enjoy the Taste of New Cheese!
Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again
They Keep Moving the Cheese."
It's all true, and you can relate it to many aspects your life. Change will happen in your home life and also at your workplace. And, the "handwriting on the wall" is clear: "If You Do Not Change, You Can Become Extinct."
Allison is currently living out the elaborate fantasy she described to her now-former staff and colleagues in early 2001. With a hearty dose of courage and absolutely no plan of action, she abruptly left her middle-management job to become a writer—and today she is doing just that in her role as Baudville's Senior Content Writer. She's here to tell you everything she's learned in her 20-years+ professional life, plus a lot more. She's wordy like that!