Many years ago, I was on a commercial airline “puddle jumper” from Scranton to Philadelphia. There were eight seats and we shared the cabin with the pilot and co-pilot. To make matters worse, the weather looked like something out of the Wizard of Oz. The flight was bumpy and filled with sudden drops. I was very nervous, no, make that scared!

As we approached Philadelphia, things got worse. The pilot informed us that the weather was so bad we would not be able to land until things improved.

So there I was, white knuckled, holding onto my seat for dear life. I found myself staring out the window into a solid sheet of grey clouds. I was truly afraid. I sat there looking for BIG planes to come plowing into us; as if my knowing would change anything.

This went on for thirty minutes. My anxiety level was off the charts. I was so worried about all the scenarios that might occur. The fear and anxiety grew worse and worse.

Then, out of nowhere a story that I heard when I was in an Eastern Philosophy class popped into my mind.

The story was about a monk that lived in a monastery that sat on a bluff three thousand feet above the valley. Every day, the monk would go for a walk along the edge of the bluff.

One day, a hungry tiger came out of the woods and saw the monk. He started moving toward him. The monk spotted the approaching tiger. He knew the tiger intended to eat him.

Behind him was the valley below. In front of him was the hungry tiger.

He noticed a cherry tree growing out of the side of the bluff, about ten feet below the edge. The monk dropped down to the tree. There he sat, a hungry tiger and certain death above him, the valley floor and certain death below him.

What did the monk do?

He ate and enjoyed the cherries!


  • 2020 is filled with many challenges!
  • Worry will not change the outcome.
  • Choose to live in the now (Eat the cherries).
  • Live life to the fullest.


  • Barry Gottlieb

    Author - Speaker - Success Mentor - Trusted Advisor

    Barry is sought after by organizations of all sizes to assist them in the following areas: *Leadership - *Strategy - *Execution - *Company Culture - *Time Management - *Emotional Intelligence. As the Founder and President of Coaching the Winner's Edge, Barry has built a successful practice offering counsel and guidance to both private individuals and corporations. In addition, Barry is a successful author and speaker. His books are: "TGIT-Thank God It’s Today". - "Every Day Is A Gift". - "Brilliant on the Basics...a Playbook for Business Leaders". Barry started out his career as an educator... First a school teacher and  Principal; and then as an instructor at Santa Fe Community College, and the University of Florida. During his time at the university, Barry experienced a life altering challenge. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given just 3 to 6 months to live. His story of recovery and the paradigm shift that it created in his life was the inspiration for his first book, "TGIT - Thank God It’s Today". Shortly thereafter, Barry decided to make a career and life style change and left teaching to enter the world of business. This he says, “Is where my real education began.” He and his partners built a very successful $75 million international company from the ground up, that they later sold for $55M. Barry shares the the wisdom and insights of building a very successful company... and culture, in his latest book: "Brilliant On the Basics... A Playbook for Business Leaders". Barry's Mission: To inspire and empower others to reach their full potential.