Exit Through the Gift Shop

I recently saw this fascinating documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop. It starts out about a Los Angeles Frenchman (Thierry Guetta) who falls in love with his video camera and starts filming everything, eventually gravitating toward the subject of street art. He follows the artists around for some time before the film takes on a great twist and becomes quite fascinating. Worth a viewing, for sure.

Aside from the obvious attraction to the street art culture, this film also shines a bright light on the idea of Doing More and Thinking Less, a personal goal for me as of late. Theirry is an incredible man who just let’s things unfold and doesn’t spend much time thinking of what to do and how to make things happen. As a result of him just going with the flow and following where he’s led, amazing opportunities come about for him. Watching this has made me see what it must be like for people who don’t resist anything. How easy things seem to come about for these people, much different from those who spend so much time thinking, planning and trying to make things happen.

I’m currently grappling with the idea that thinking about doing something before actually doing it can sometimes make us susceptible to fear, anxiety and resistance. Which can push the very thing we’re striving for farther and farther away. And that’s not to say that a certain amount of thought shouldn’t accompany any plan, but watching this documentary really made me aware of how much our thoughts can potentially keep us from our goals.

There’s a point in the film where Thierry, in order to get artists to trust him, has to tell them that he’s working on a documentary about street art when he really had no intention of doing so (nor did he have the knowledge). I imagined myself in that situation; I’d have given up at that point, assuming that there was no point in going on without the knowledge of how to edit all the footage. I might have convinced myself to go to film school to learn how to do that and would have ended up on a totally different path than Thierry did in the film. My thoughts would have taken me completely away from what I was enjoying doing already. And the end of the movie, when Thierry is just working on creating his own art show…wow, it’s just insane to watch. He’s got absolutely no resistance, no questioning, and is convinced that he can pull it off. And what happens as a result is unfathomable. It motivates me to stop thinking so much about what I want to do and, in the words of a famous shoemaker: Just Do It!

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