“Nothing happens until something moves.” Albert Einstein
It’s a new year and many of us make resolutions. We make commitments to ourselves to do better, to change. We make resolutions to lose weight; save money; attend church more, quit smoking, exercise more, save money, and find a better job. We start these resolutions with vigor and zeal. Some stick to their commitments while others fall off. Why is that? Why don’t we stick with improvements that will make our lives better? Are we resistant to change? Do we think change is unfair? Does the thought of change paralyze us? Or are we just content with where we are-stuck or not? One thing is for sure, if we do NOTHING, NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.
A few years ago, the book “Who Moved my Cheese,” by Spencer Johnson, altered the way I viewed change. The story involves four characters who live in a maze: the mice- Scurry and Sniff, and two ‘little people’- Hem and Haw. Having found a huge source of their favorite food, Cheese., life in the maze was going well. After a few months of the good life, they entered the maze and noticed that ALL of the cheeses that they had become accustomed too was gone. The mice and little people both reacted differently to this discovery. The mice upon discovering the cheese was gone, immediately entered the maze in search of new cheese. But, the little people, who had thinking abilities and rationale like humans, refused to accept that the cheese was gone. Instead, they blamed others. They were convinced that someone had moved the cheese. So they spent their time and energy looking for the “old” cheese.
Day after day, they worked hard to find the “old” cheese. They knocked down walls, dug up the floor, looked in the ceiling and still no cheese. They both were angry (and hungry) at the missing cheese. But one day, Haw admitted to himself that the cheese had actually been dwindling down for months but they ignored it. They just assumed it would be there. He laughed at his folly and decided he needed to get back in the maze to find new Cheese. But when he tried to get his BFF Hem to join him in the search, he refused. Hem felt like whoever took the cheese needed to put it back and he was going to stay there until they did. He was the victim, why should he leave?
Haw, had no other choice but to leave Hem and to search for new cheese. He addressed his fear of change and wrote his thoughts on the walls of the maze to let Hem know which direction to follow if he decided to venture into the maze AND to remind himself that change is a constant. He wrote:
Change Happens. They keep moving the cheese.
Anticipate Change.. Get ready for the cheese to move.
Monitor Change. 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!
Change. Move with the cheese.
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.
Eventually, Haw found all types of new cheese in the maze. He found a room filled with cheeses he had never heard of and couldn’t pronounce. He also saw Sniff and Scurry who had already discovered the room of cheese. Hem decided to stop blaming others for his circumstance and eventually ventured into the maze and followed the writings on the wall which led him to find new cheese. The moral of this story is finding new cheese requires us to take ACTION in spite of our fears.
Change can be scary and I’m not sure which is more frightening-the action involved with making changes or the fear of the unknown. But in order to evoke change, we must move. We must be willing to leave some people behind, get in touch with ourselves, acknowledge and address our fears, and even laugh at our mistakes. See, if true change is to occur, we must change how we perceive change. We should ask ourselves, what does or would change look like in my life? How much better would my life be if I ……went back to school? Took a class? Quit smoking? Lost weight? Changed jobs? Saved money? Ate better? Exercised? Based on your response, VISUALIZE the change. VISUALIZE the better you and get to moving!!!
As you start this new year and decade, 2020, stay focused and only make ONE resolution- to put yourself FIRST. Realize that the most important relationSHIP that you will EVER have is with YOURSELF. Recognize that being your best self SHOULD ALWAYS be your main priority. FINALLY, this is YOUR YEAR, find some new cheese. Make the improvements necessary to live your best life, you deserve it. Because, you already know……..if you do NOTHING, NOTHING WILL HAPPEN!!! NAPPY NEW YEAR!!
SHIP TALK: Are you afraid of change? What changes do you plan on making this year?
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