It is perhaps a cheekiest paradox. A pamphlet that extols the merits of avoiding crippling over-analysis in the face of constraining adversity and imminent doom, is possibly the most over-analysed booklet of the pop-biz canon.
Since publication in 1998, according to its wikipedia page, an eye-popping 5 million copies have been lapped up by those requiring to make change.
The fifty pages of the allegorical fairytale take less than half-an-hour to skip through. Time to fully digest though, is dependent upon where you are in your work/life journey.
Through the actions, and inaction, of four characters confronted with a Maze searching for Cheese, you are asked to recognise the attitudes that hold you back from achieving what you want.
Can you spot the ‘writing on the wall’ in your life? How can you gather the courage to take that vital first step and lose the shackling fear of failure?
There’s a summary seven lessons plastered on the penultimate page. Simplistic yet supposedly deep quotes intended to be inspirational litter the text, such as
“What would I do if I weren’t afraid?”
If you sense you’re in a darkened place, and need to give yourself a kick to get back on track, then I guess a quick read can spur you on.
Really though, it’s as if the greatest application of this ‘teaching’ is when you’re in a meeting and someone doesn’t share your vision for your favoured new thing. Stir things up with a teasing wind up. Sit back, take a knowing deep breath, and say something like, in your best enigmatic voice,
Who’s moving your cheese…?