How Do We Cope With Change?
July 21, 2020
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How do you cope with Change? And how do your children feel about change? Is Change Scary or Exciting?
A book I read, called “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson (available at Amazon here), completely changed my attitude and my viewpoint on the subject.
The book tells the story of 4 creatures, 2 mice and 2 Little People, that live in a maze. Each day all four of them would run through the maze looking for cheese. They always run to the same room where there is a huge stock of cheese.
One day, the 2 mice noticed that the stock of cheese was running low. They reacted immediately, putting on their running shoes and running through the maze, looking for new rooms of cheese.
However, the Little People did not notice or care that the supply was getting low, so they continued to visit the same room. One morning they arrived in the cheese room to find that there was no cheese left. They started to panic. They had bigger brains than the mice so instead of simply reacting by looking for new rooms of cheese, they began analysing … “Why was there no cheese left?” “What had happened to their cheese?” “Where did it go?” “What was the probability that more cheese would arrive again soon?” And so on.
As time went on and no cheese appeared, they started to get angry and thought: “Why did this happen to us? This is not fair! We have a right to our daily cheese!”
They became depressed and scared. They felt like victims. They became terrified of the future which was based on having access to that cheese. And of course, they were suffering from hunger!
“THE MORE IMPORTANT YOUR CHEESE IS TO YOU THE MORE YOU WANT TO HOLD ON TO IT”
One day, one of the Little People, Haw, suggested to the other Little Person, Hem, to go out into the maze and look for more cheese. But Hem did not want to hear about it. He was afraid of what might be out there. He felt too old for another adventure, and embarrassed to show that he failed by running out of cheese etc.
Haw also felt scared and anxious about what he might find in the maze but realized that this was his only chance if he did not want to die of hunger. The more he thought about going into the maze, the more empowered he felt. Despite the fear, he felt exhilarated and in control.
So, he left the cheese room and went into the maze searching for something to eat. He came across some small pieces of cheese but no large stock. He felt some doubt and fear as he continued running but he now knew that doing something was better than doing nothing. He laughed at himself for waiting so long to let go of the old and move on. He continued to face his fear and carried on.
He realized it was not as scary as he had expected.
“WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WEREN’T AFRAID?”
Instead, it was almost FUN!
“WHEN YOU STOP BEING AFRAID, YOU FEEL GOOD”
He started to wonder why he had always thought that change would lead to something worse. Now he realized that change could also lead to something BETTER!
As he was running along having these thoughts, he came into a huge room full of cheese with more varieties.
The two mice were there too. But Hem never arrived ….
“OLD BELIEFS DO NOT LEAD YOU TO NEW CHEESE”
As we are going through this pandemic which is threatening our way of life let’s take a moment to discover our beliefs about change. Many people tend to resist changing because they are afraid of the outcome. But what if we change that perception from losing something to gaining something new instead?
This simple shift in perspective will move you from feeling like a victim and afraid to feeling empowered and excited. In this more positive state, more positive opportunities will present themselves and provide for a better life without the worry, stress and fear.
Sending You Much Love & Laughter
Sittah & Amy
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