Hello again, and welcome back to another week on the Christine Murphy Designs Blog. Let me begin with a question… Do you procrastinate? Do you have a creative idea for a project, but then procrastinate and the project never gets started? Another word that’s thrown around in these sorts of circles is “resistance“. Do you have a creative idea for a project, but then for whatever reason, you just can’t get around to getting it done, it’s like there’s this resistance that’s working against you.
I am raising my hand big time over here! Girl, have I struggled with this in my time! You might recall my post at the start of the year where I talked about losing my mojo. You can read it here if you missed it. Well, I had gone through months of this sort of thing… I had all the ideas in the world, and no real oomph to get cracking, each day it just got worse. Sometimes I procrastinated and other times there was just plain old resistance.
These two are friends you know. Procrastination and Resistance, they know each other very well and they are quite the team! They’ve taken down some of the best in the industry. But what if I told you there’s a way of looking at them from an entirely new perspective, and when you do, you can conquer them! Do you want in?
About a year and a half ago, someone I’d worked with for a long time retired. During our time working together, I can recall two times he told me about this book. Each time he urged me to read it, saying it’s a great book that will help me understand (and handle) change. These were big claims, and when he gave me the book, I took it home and popped it on the bookshelf, saying to myself “I’ll get to that one day”.
Well, one day happened quite recently. I finally read it and today’s blog post is a Book Review all about “Who Moved by Cheese?” by Dr Spencer Johnson. It says on the cover that it’s “An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life” and now that I’ve read it, I’d have to say I agree.
It’s a small book (95 pages), and truthfully, it will only take you a couple of hours to read it, you can read it in a night. I won’t give too much away as I’ll spoil the story, but it centers around four characters, two mice called Sniff and Scurry, and two Littlepeople called Hem and Haw. They are in a maze and they are searching for cheese.
I’m quoting directly from the book here,
“Who Moved by Cheese? is a story about change that takes place in a Maze where four amusing characters look for “Cheese” – cheese being a metaphor for what we want to have in life, whether it is a job, a relationship, money, a big house, freedom, health, recognition, spiritual peace or even an activity like jogging or golf.
Each of us has our own idea of what Cheese is, and we pursue it because we believe it makes us happy. If we get it, we often become attached to it. And if we lose it, or it’s taken away, it can be traumatic.
The “Maze” in the story represents where you spend time looking for what you want. It can be the organisation you work in, the community you live in, or the relationships you have in life.”
As the story unfolds you will find yourself starting to identify with some of the characters, and you will also recognize other people in your life, as they tend to identify with some of the characters as well. That’s all I’m going to share in relation to the story, as it’s a message that is simply profound, (those words are deliberate) and you need to discover this for yourself.
But…. How does it relate to conquering procrastination and resistance? Well, when you come up with a creative idea for a new project (remember you’re storing them now… I talked about that last week here), you are coming up with something new you want in life – aka “Cheese“. It’s different from your old project, because it’s new – I know duh! But this is important. I firmly believe that procrastination and resistance thrive in an environment where change is not embraced.
I know, I know… you believe you embrace change, but let’s stop and really think about it…
You have to start over. (I’m going to focus on drawing, but you could insert scrapbooking or crochet or painting etc). You’ve just finished a drawing that you spent ages on, you were satisfied with what you created, you had poured your heart and soul into it, you were attached to it, and now the project’s complete. It’s time to start that new project you’ve been thinking about, and that means you need to begin from scratch… again! It means blank paper, it means sketching, it means concept plans, it means planning. It’s significant effort just to get to a stage where you’re ready to ink.
But you’ve just gotten used to life with the old project, you were attached, you were feeling satisfaction, you knew where your cheese was and you had been really enjoying it. And now, it’s time to change things up again. Your cheese moved! It’s hard to keep chasing the cheese, you just get settled in a place where you were enjoying it and then it moves! Bam!
And that’s the spot right there… That’s where Procrastination and Resistance live. These guys move in and they start to justify the way you’re feeling. They agree with that part of you that’s saying “it’s hard to keep chasing cheese!” And before you know it, you’re three months in, feeling depressed and your new project just doesn’t seem to be happening, it’s like you’ve lost your mojo…
When you understand that each new project is a time of change, and you have an opportunity to embrace the change, you will begin to conquer Procrastination and Resistance. A disclaimer if I may… I think it’s important to add here that you may not handle change the same each time. There are other variables that can affect your decision making, and just because you handle change one way one time, doesn’t mean you will handle it the same way every time. Let’s be real here.
The Creator is a God who loves change. Consider the seasons… four times a year things change. Plants come into times when they bloom and times when they scale back, they move with the seasons, totally in tune with the change that’s happening around them. Caterpillars though, go through a period of transformation as they change into a butterfly. Their change takes time, and they are out of action as they are cocooned and being transformed. Both plants and caterpillars change, but each handles the process differently… And so will you.
So, to my Rose Rankings. How many roses out of five do I give “Who Moved my Cheese?” by Dr Spencer Johnson? I’m giving it 4 roses out of five. It’s a little book you need to read, whether it be electronically or on paperback. I’ve looked online and it’s also available as an Ebook for $10.99, which is really quite affordable.
We are living in a society where change is happening all around us at an alarming rate, technology is moving so quickly, the way people talk, teach and share about art and craft is changing too. This book shows you the different ways people handle change, and understanding why, will only serve to help you form better relationships online, in your families and in your communities.
My intention with this Book Review was to make you aware of another way and another perspective. I want to show you that Procrastination and Resistance can be overcome when you look at them differently and see them as being driven by change. I really do hope you get the chance to read this book and find yourself in the story. If you do, come back and tell me which character you identify with. In case you’re wondering, I identified with Sniff…
Until next week, connect with the Creator, let Him inspire you. His magnificence and beauty is everywhere, even in art and craft.