Who moved my Cheese??

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

 Image result for girl asking questions

 The first time I ‘heard’ this question was in 2011.

You see… I had decided to take some really huge steps, which sounded good in my head at the time of planning. The plans entailed stepping out of my comfort-zone, and exploring other ventures I had never before explored.

I was filled with so much excitement.

(Like a child left smack in the middle of a lollipop store, on her birthday/Christmas day rolled in one).

As the time for actualising the plans drew closer however, excitement gradually paved way to uncertainty, and eventually, alarm.

Fear engulfed me. Badly!

I was suddenly scared and highly doubtful of these big ‘plans’, all at once.

What if this was the wrong move? What if I hit a brick wall? What if I was not able to build the same kind of comfort zone I was climbing out of?

What if… What if… What if… ???

Yes, I wanted more… but what if “more” was a utopian figment of my imagination?

Because all I could see (at the time) was my present reality, and everything that could go wrong with the unknown future.

I voiced these fears to a friend, who simply gave me this petite book, packed with a lot of life lessons. And I never looked at change the same way again.

Image result for who moved my cheese

“Who moved my cheese” is a totally metaphorical tale, about little characters - two rats, and two ‘Littlepeople’ - who had become used to a particular supply of (cheddar) cheese.

Waking up one morning, the characters discovered something horrible had happened:

‘Someone’ had removed their ‘endless’ supply of heavenly cheese away from its pretty corner it had always sat, waiting on them to nibble from.

While the rats quickly adapted to the change, and got into their running shoes in search of new cheese, the Littlepeople hemmed and hawed about the unkindness of the world in moving their cheese. They brainstormed on who might have done this dastardly act. They consoled themselves that whomever took the cheese would return it.

One of them eventually began considering looking for new cheese, but was afraid to make the move. He must have wondered: “What if we died looking for new cheese”? “Should we stay and wait for whomever took our cheese to return it?” “What if we died waiting?”

At some point, the rats even…

Go and buy your copy of the book jor! I’m not here to narrate the full story..

Suffice to note that the four characters represent humans in their daily hustle for survival, and the art of surviving the rat-race (all pun intended).

The cheese represents some regular state of being, which as humans, we get all too used to. Which is not entirely a bad thing anyway. After all, consistency and stability has its rewards.

And the moving of the cheese represents change.

So yes, we all have our daily rhythm; our “k” (for “Constant”)

But what if we woke up one day, and this regular state of being was dismantled; taken from us, and is no more?

Or what if we desire something different? Maybe we stopped making do with cheese, and began longing for eba, with onugbu soup. 

Or even plain milk.

In the latter case, would we rather hold on to cheese because cheese is what we have always known? In the former case, do we just “wait and see”, in hope that the cheese which was moved from us is returned??

Or do we take hold of the reins of our future, and move on down the maze we have abandoned, in search of new cheese - or other types of food - which we will never find, except and until we step out of our cheese-filled comfort zones?

Indeed, it is often said that change is the only constant thing in life. Such change may be welcomed. Other times, it may be forced upon us by circumstances, much like the “moving” of the cheese.

What is not said however is that the one thing constant with change is the fear of the unknown, which fear may in itself destroy the endless possibilities the unknown holds, even before they are explored.

Once that fear is conquered however, change could actually signal the beginning of beautiful things yet to come, and an endless well of opportunities untapped.

So if you ever get stuck and need to break from “the norm”… or if you ever find yourself having to deal with major changes, and the fear grips you; remember that that change heralds new cheese around the corner, for cheese is all around you.

You only have to step into the maze, and reach for it.  


P.s: I did find my “more”.

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  1. It's actually not as easy as your painting it to be. The fear of the unknown is what keeps alot of people stuck in a spot especially in making some life changing decisions, myself inclusive. Nevertheless, we still have to try to fight the fear.

    1. It's never easy actually... hence, this post. To let you know that the fear could (and should) be conquered. Once conquered, you can achieve more than you set your mind to achieve.