Yellow Arrow - What's behind the name?
When we are growing up somehow we are led to believe that life is linear. You are born, you go to school, you get a girlfriend, you go to University, you get a job, you get married, you buy a house, you have kids and then you die. My experience (and that of my friends) has shown me it is anything but. Life is complex, it is ever evolving and we are ever changing. You might study one thing and then you work somewhere else, you might believe one thing, but over time those views change. This realisation is exciting as it means that if you have the opportunity and the means you can proceed and redirect your course.
The name of our business came from an experience I had in 2019 when I was fortunate enough to walk the Camino de Santiago from the border of France to the east coast of Spain. I had heard a lot about the Camino from many friends who had walked it, and the movie “The Way”. The Camino is an ancient pilgrimage (just under 1000 years) that charts the route that St James walked when he brought Christianity to Spain. I could write a book about this experience, but for now I will focus on the yellow arrow. Directing the way to Santiago from St Jean Pied de Port (a beautiful French town at the beginning of the “French” way) all the way to Santiago are these yellow arrows. They were painted by a priest in the 80’s so people knew how to get to Santiago.
The Yellow Arrow provides clarity to reach your purpose. It’s a nudge that says, just go!
Over my 35 days walking, these yellow arrows became a strong symbol for me about life. Life on the Camino is simple. You wake up, you walk, you talk with new friends, you walk, you eat, you walk, you rest, you walk, you finish for the day, you rest, you eat, you drink, you sleep and then you start again. Because you know there will be a yellow arrow to guide your walk all the way to Santiago (roughly 900 kms), you can relax, reflect and talk about interesting things with people from every corner of the world. You have a very clear purpose (i.e. you are walking to Santiago), you have an incredibly clear plan (the yellow arrow) and because of this purpose and clarity you feel free and strong. The Yellow Arrow provides clarity to reach your purpose. It’s a nudge that says, just go!
I have spent the past 10 months trying to work out how to apply my learnings from the Camino to my life. I suspect it will be something that will continue to unravel for many years.
I am chipping away at my purpose. Michaelangelo once said, “The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.” And I think this is exactly how our lives are. We are born complete and every new experience reveals to us a deeper aspect of who we are. We are complex and multifaceted and can achieve incredible things. By challenging ourselves to grow we strengthen our understanding of ourselves and slowly build upon our “why”. Viktor Frankl wrote, “Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.” And I believe this, a clear purpose will get you up in the morning and propel you to live your life.
While I was walking the Camino, my sister Felicity was having an adventure of her own, travelling around Europe for six months. When we met in Greece for our brother’s wedding and swapped stories of our travels, we realised we both had similar ideas around starting a business. We had experienced something really special and wanted to find a way to share it with others.
So why Yellow Arrow? We believe that we all have a deep innate potential that will expose itself when we are challenged outside our comfort zone. We want to help others reveal that deeper purpose so they can move forward with confidence in their personal life, their career and studies. We are all on this journey and together we can define our own ‘yellow arrows’ that will help guide us to our own personal ‘Santiago’.