Virginio and I were sat down drinking a coffee, with the winter sun filtering in from the window onto the computer screen, thinking about a scene which could represent “normal madness”, when Virginio started to play the film clip. I could not see a thing, I heard only a gunshot and I understood immediately.

It is a scene which shows in a crude and direct manner what happens when we are under pressure. It takes place in the offices of a newspaper, but it could have taken place in any other context, at home or in the work.

Pressure, agitation, haste, commitments, apprehensiveness, jealousy, overlapping of private life and work. You can slice the tension with a knife. A total nightmare!

In a crescendo which Rossini would be proud of, the situation becomes all the more difficult.

Everyone tries to speak over everyone else, they are all inevitably involved and there is total confusion. And there seems to be no way out.

Watching the scene on the outside it is easy to note how grotesque the situation is. However…

Those who have never been through similar situations, put your hand up. Under pressure it is really difficult to be lucid, to keep the calm and to handle things in the best possible way. When we are involved in person, we often end up acting like the characters in the film.

Sometimes, due to stress, we end up making immeasurable damage to our personal and professional life. We lose our sight on the priorities, everything spirals out of control effecting and destroying everything around us.

What is strange is that when we have a clear mind we are aware of it. In a recent survey , 48% of people declared that they were victims to stress.

We are nearly all caught up in the web and believe that this normal and tiring life is normal. Most of us do very little to prevent or release everyday stress, and we only do something about it when the situation has degenerated.

As a matter of fact, we have almost forgotten what wellbeing means and we often look for the solution to the problem on the outside: attention is paid to having or doing rather than being, with the result being that our lives are not satisfying.

The scene also offers another interesting point which needs to be commented on.

When the situation seems at a standstill and the tension is astronomic, there is an excellent twist: a deafening shot manages to interrupt the moment and get everyone to see reason, as if waking everyone up from a drugged mind after weeks of total madness.

Often the “shot” in our daily life is an important event which brings us dramatically back to reality, what Stephen Covey calls “alarm clock”: an illness, an excessive movement… only in these cases we realize that something needs to be changed.

All we need to do is put a little thought into it: like organizing the day on the basis of real priorities. With the most important things before anything else. If we all reasoned like this, the world would be a slightly better place.

It is not easy, there is no doubt in that. But even the most complex operations start with a small action and then, we all know: a stitch in time saves nine!

Save some time for yourselves every day. Stop and take a look at your life. Every day make some little change to your life to make it better.

A doctor DOES NOT do his work properly if he DOES NOT stop every so often to charge his batteries.

But in our culture, this is forbidden. Those who stop, lose the race. The newspaper office is an excellent reflection of our daily choices.

I constantly use the value of the scenes that Virginio makes available on “Training with Movies”.

It is a unique and useful service!

Giovanni Annunziata


“… 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 Paper" A film by Ron Howard with Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Jason Robards - USA, 1994

"1,001 Ways to Relax: An Illustrated Guide to Reducing Stress" by Mike George

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