Why the Golden Gate Bridge is Orange
Have you ever wondered why the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is painted orangey-red? Why not silver like the neighbouring Bay Bridge?
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, someone on our tour bus asked this question. It was only then that it struck that I’d never taken any notice of the bridge’s colour. Isn’t it funny how it often takes someone to point out the obvious before we notice it?
Doing Things Without Question
It’s a bit like that in many of the things we do. Until someone points them out, we continue to do things without questioning them.
Avoiding the colour green is a case in question. For years I refused buying green clothing. Why didn’t I buy green? Because my dad had thought it was an unlucky colour and as a child I’d avoided it to please him. This was a shame because as an adult I really liked the colour green and it suited me.
It all changed one day whilst trying on a fabulous green coat. I put it back on the rail heavy hearted. “Of course I could never buy it,” I sighed. “My dad hates the colour green.” My friend looked at me as if I were mad. “But your dad’s not going to wear it,” she said incredulously.
The realisation of my stupidity hit me hard. For years I had shunned all things green but never questioned it. This was a real light-bulb experience. That was the day I bought my first green item of clothing.
Stepping back and questioning why we do things, then changing old bad habits, is a quick way to freshen up our lives.
Back in San Francisco we got the answer to the question. The plan had been to paint the Golden Gate Bridge silver. Whilst putting on the orangey-red primer the designer of the bridge realised that the orange looked great; it was an ideal contrast to the often foggy San Francisco Bay. He cancelled the order of silver paint and that is why this iconic bridge is painted orange-red.
Remove the Blinkers
This is another great lesson. Don’t be scared to change direction. Driving towards goals in a blinkered fashion can mean opportunities pass you by. Taking a step back and considering the variety of options can mean things open up.
Working with one of my clients she was adamant that she wanted more money. However stepping back and asking some questions she began to realise that this wasn’t accurate. What did she want money for? Ultimately so she could spend more time with her family.
Realising that her main motivation was to spend quality time with her family meant other avenues opened up for her. Finding a jet-setting job that pulled in the cash wasn’t the answer (this is what she had originally craved for). However, finding a job that fitted around the times of her children’s school holidays gave her both additional money and the quality time she was after.
Always challenge old behaviours and continually ask if you’re heading in the right direction. It worked for the Golden Gate Bridge and it could work with you.