Out of the Maze | Spencer Johnson

Summary of: Out of the Maze: A Story About the Power of Belief
By: Spencer Johnson


Embark on a journey with Hem and Haw, two miniature characters who reside in an intricate maze, where they seek happiness, success, and life-sustaining cheese. ‘Out of the Maze’ by Spencer Johnson unfolds the adventurous tale of these characters, as well as the inevitable changes and challenges they face along their journey. As Hem and Haw navigate the maze, the story becomes an allegory for our own lives, with the cheese representing our goals and desires. Experience the surprising discoveries these characters make as they learn to understand the power of belief and adapt to new and shifting circumstances, equipping the reader with invaluable life lessons on embracing change and fostering personal growth.

The Maze of Fulfillment

Two miniature individuals named Hem and Haw are on a quest for cheese, which they eventually find at Cheese Station C. They become complacent and entitled until it disappears without a trace. Haw leaves to look for a new supply, while Hem stays behind, expecting the cheese to reappear. The cheese in this story is a metaphor for happiness and success, and the characters’ journey reflects our own search for fulfillment. Change can be difficult to accept, but refusing to move on can leave us feeling isolated and empty.

The Dangers of Chasing the Familiar

After losing his source of happiness, Hem navigates the maze in search of new cheese. Despite encountering dark corners and dead ends, he cautiously continues his search until he is left weak and exhausted. When he finally stumbles upon an alternative source of fulfillment, he still refuses to let go of his old ways. This cautionary tale warns against the dangers of fixating on the past and the importance of embracing change.

The Power of Beliefs.

As Hem and Hope navigate through the maze of life, they struggle to find enough food to leave. Hem grows nostalgic about the olden days and longs for a return to that period. The narrative shows how looking back and yearning for the past can hurt our present and future. Hem and Hope’s experiences also highlight how losing the source of our happiness or success can diminish our self-esteem. Nevertheless, we can change our mindsets to overcome life’s difficulties. Hope encourages Hem to adopt a new belief system to solve their food scarcity problems. Changing our thoughts and beliefs can be challenging since these ideas are an integral part of our identity. But, the story reassures us that it’s possible to change our beliefs.

The Power of Beliefs

Hem reflects on his beliefs after recalling his friend Haw’s decision to leave Cheese Station C in search of new possibilities. He realizes that beliefs can either free us from a dead end or keep us trapped inside it. He also understands that beliefs are ideas we can trust, and they have a powerful influence on us. Hem learns that he can change his beliefs without changing his self. We are not the same as our beliefs; instead, we are the ones who choose them. Hem concludes that the question to ask ourselves is not whether we can change, but to what?

Believe in Possibility

The book excerpt explores how a simple leap of faith and openness to possibility can lead to transformative changes in our beliefs and actions. It uses a story of two characters in a maze to illustrate how changing beliefs require taking a chance on something new. The author emphasizes the importance of believing in the possibility of something before trying it out, whether in relationships, careers, or life in general.

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