An the beginning of the movie “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”, a drunk adventures back-stage. The wings represent the mind of the Great Magician and every time someone enters, a war between good and evil begins.If the latter wins, his soul will be lost forever. Otherwise he will have to take a long and winding path towards purification, and also happiness.

“You have chosen well. The path to Parnassus is steep, the way is long. But with perseverance and fierce dedication, the heights are attainable. So, with spirits high and a spring in your step, with a song in your heart, the clouds will part, the heavens will open and you will be a man, my son!”

The voice of conscience does not lie, we can really expect “a prize” after the effort and sacrifice.We are that man, maybe we are not “drunks” (or maybe you are 🙂 ), but we get drunk on other things, and we fall into the same errors.

The “drink” which “the man with the cigar” invites us to get, is nothing but another small sip of that habit:

  • postponing physical exercise
  • judging and criticising others
  • smoking
  • eating junk food
  • responding aggressively
  • misbehaving 


The “devil’s” promise is more attractive; little effort, more pleasure and above all “immediately”. If you want to win a soul, this is what you have to promise. What does it matter if your self-esteem” explodes? When you give up to temptation it is as if a small explosion goes off inside of you…and what loses out is your motivation, your energy and your credibility.

On the contrary, every time we choose to resist our instincts or our “appetites”, we strengthen our character. Every time we close ears, despite how loud the music is, we take a step forward towards the light.

Whenever we keep a promise, no matter how small it is, we become stronger and the others realize that we’re made of. It is really as simple as it appears:

Do you want to get more results? Make good of the little promises you make to yourself. One at a time.”

As Stephen Covey said in his book “Principle-centred Leadership”:

“When we examine anger, hatred, envy, jealousy, pride, and prejudice or any other negative emotion or passion we often discover that at their root lies the desire to be accepted, approved, and esteemed of others. We then seek a shortcut to the top. But the bottom line is that there is no shortcut to lasting success. The law of the harvest still applies, in spite of all the talk of “how to beat the system.””

“…and in case I don’t see ya…

good afternoon, good evening and good night!“

(The Truman Show)




Buy the film

Buy the recommended book

"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" A film by Terry Gilliam with Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Christopher Plummer, Verne Troyer. UK/France, 2011

"Principle-centred Leadership" by Stephen R. Covey

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