“Most of us prepared hard for the future we expected, and yet things aren't working out as we had planned…This is not how we were told it was going to be. Growing up we were led to believe that the future was predictable enough, and if we studied hard we could obtain the work we wanted in an environment we understood, and we would live happy and successful lives…It hasn't exactly worked out that way (even for those of us who are happy). Many of us, maybe most, are not making progress on achieving the things we want.” -“What to do when you don’t know what to do,” Harvard Business Review
Often the people who teach us about the world and inform us of the “rules” cannot or are unwilling to see how things are constantly changing. No longer can you rely on hard work alone, as evidenced by a growing number of discontents and unemployed. We can either continue to look backwards at how things used to be, or we can accept that things are not as predictable as they once were. By doing so, we are more willing and able to adapt and let go of things that cause us unhappiness and anxiety.
Published in 1988 by Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese is an amazingly clear book that significantly changed my outlook in my work life. By anticipating and accepting change I have been able to be happier. A word of caution: Don’t be fooled by how short the book and quickly it reads. If I could, I would have every one of my close friends read this book at least once.
Some of the most powerful points are summarized below. Treat yourself this week by seeing how this powerful little book helps you find a healthier outlook on your work life.
1. Take 45 minutes out of your schedule this week to read this book!
2. Look at these principles the next time something unpleasant upends your expectations.