Written by: Phil Sealy – The Pro Forum Community of Practice

I’ve just finished reading a book that was part of the recommended reading list in a professional development course I am currently doing.

One book on this list that got my attention straightaway was called “Who Moved My Cheese” by Dr Spencer Johnson. Now this title took my interest because I love cheese, especially with some very good red wine that goes with it, but mostly because the title sounded silly. I just had to find out how this book relates to business as it sounds more like a children’s book.

After finishing the book in a few hours as I couldn’t put it down it made me realise something after I pictured myself as one of the characters in the book.

It made me see the decisions we made as a family to move two states away from where we were and to shift my part time business of coaching into a full time business was clouded by fear of change. As I think about it the changes really started a couple of years ago when the conversation started about moving. I had all the reasons set in my mind as to why we could not follow through.

I had spent years building a network of business and personal contacts and gaining a reputation as an expert in my profession, and if we move I would have to start all over again. I was sure things would not be different in the new place so why change where we live and we didn’t even know anyone in the new city. We would also need to consider the changes to our son, we would need to change his school, he would have to make new friends and that would be too disruptive for him.

After long discussions, debate and at times disagreements, my wife eventually convinced me that the sea change was good for the family so I agreed as long as she organised everything, then I would move.

When I was reading the book I came across the paragraph:

“His old thinking had been clouded by his worries and fears. He used to think about not having enough Cheese, or not having it last as long as he wanted. He used to think more about what could go wrong than what could go right”.

At that point I realised that I was the character that had become comfortable in my old habits and I was not willing to change until I had the courage to take the leap of faith and “just do it”, as Nike puts it.

What I got out of this one paragraph is that I was looking at only the things that could go wrong and not look at the benefits to our family. With this new mindset, it now allows me to see that this change has opened new opportunities that may be daunting at first and may have risk, but with a positive outlook I can see them as being managed risks that I can control and handle if they were to occur. Now I picture myself as a new character in the book to the one that is looking for change and is ready to work with this change and go out and find “New Cheese”.


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