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The bestselling book Who Moved My Cheese? (1998) by Dr Spencer Johnson is about accepting the fact that change is inevitable and beyond our control, and that we need to find the strength to move on or adapt to change.

In contrast, the recent book, I Moved Your Cheese (2011) by Deepak Malhotra (a professor at the Harvard Business School), suggests that success lies in questioning and then affecting change instead of simply accepting or adapting to it.

Malhotra believes that we have the ability to control our own destiny; but first, we must abandon the often deep-rooted perception that “we are nothing more than mice in someone else’s maze”, or pawns in a chess game. He says that what holds us back from achieving a greater degree of success are not real limitations, but rather our self-created boundaries that have been cast by social norms and the expectations of other people. These boundaries and limitations tend to make us underestimate our ability to control our own destiny and overcome the constraints we face – or think we face.

I Moved Your Cheese encourages readers to challenge their assumptions about the limitations they really face and those that are self-imposed or instinctively accepted. We are able to create the circumstances and realities we desire, writes Malhotra, and better still, we can change the entire game instead of just changing our behaviour. But to do so we need to understand what is holding us back.

In a nutshell, the book persuades readers to question the status quo and encourages them to continuously revisit and challenge preconceived notions and assumptions in order to affectively alter not only their behaviour but also their circumstances.

Ultimately, I Moved Your Cheese is all about realising your self-worth, accepting and affecting change to improve yourself; in other words, it urges us to take control of our own destiny.

– Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training, eLearning. fauzia@iandbconsulting.com

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 17, 2012.

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