Anyone remember the book titled, Who Moved My Cheese? It was written by Spencer Johnson, M.D. and was a big bestseller almost a decade ago. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it! It won’t cost you much, it’s really short, and very easy to read.
The book’s message is brought to life in a very neat way-through the story of cute little mice who live in a maze and are in search of cheese (why of course). While reading the reader is meant to identify with one or more of the mice characters. In doing so we see ourselves as we really are and because the story is cute and funny and TRUE, we stare reality in the face and are more easily able to see what we may not be doing right.
I don’t want to tell the story because the book is so short and well written you might as well read it for yourself. But, I will say that from a diabetic’s point of view the message of this story really hits home.
How many of us, when diagnosed with diabetes were so caught up in the overwhelming process of simply assessing how our lives were going to change for the worse? Often, when a person hears they should eat really healthy (either to lower blood glucose or to improve overall health) they begin making a mental list of all of the things they will no longer be having and focus on how it’s just not fair.
This person may go years in a state of resistance to the truth. They may not take care of their health the way they should because they are too busy mourning the loss of their previous reality. Yet, during this period of time, which this person wastes in denial and stubbornness, more damage is being caused to the body and soon even more unfair things are happening to this person.
Now what about the person who learns what to do to live healthy and follows good advice before much more damage ever occurs. By the time we fast forward ten years this person is in good health and the one in denial is maybe dealing with a much more difficult situation. One that now is much harder to fix or deal with.
What is the difference between these examples? When one person had an opportunity for change thrust upon them or when change was forced upon them, one person entertained one lingering thought, “Hey! Who moved my cheese?” while the other person accepted the need or opportunity for change and simply changed gears, turned around, and figured out how to adapt. This person said, “I’ll just find cheese elsewhere”.
In the book, “cheese” is a metaphor for what we’d like to have in life. For diabetics, good health is often our “cheese”. When it is moved, we need to not waste time hoping and praying that it comes back, instead, we need to adapt to new behaviors (follow through on them) and in turn we’ll have “less stress and more success” in our lives.
And our successes will be our fault entirely.