“If you change how you look at things, the things you look at change.”

 

Cultivate a better life is the guiding principle of the Beekman 1802 Almanac, and this entire year we’ve devoted the pages in each issue to elevating one of the five senses. In this upcoming Autumn issue (subscribe here to get your copy when it comes out), we hope we can help you “see” a few things in a way that you have never seen them before.

After we lost our “big city” jobs in the recession of 2008, we came very close to losing Beekman Farm. Like so many other Americans, we simply could not come up with the mortgage payment.

As the chilly months of Autumn crept through the valley, we decided to save the resources set aside to heat the house until we REALLY needed it in the cold winter months that were surely ahead.

Instead, we spent the colder parts of the day in the barn, insulated by the summer’s hay stacked high and by the warmth generated from a herd of 80 goats.

We literally became the men who stared at goats.

One of the peculiarities of goats is that they are always jostling each other to see who can be king (or queen!) of the mountain. One likes to be standing just a little higher than the other.

Why?

Quite simply, the view is better from up there.

Think about it from the standpoint of herd mentality and self-preservation.

The goat that is just a little higher than everyone else in the herd has a completely different perspective on the surroundings than anyone else. Danger lurking in the field? She’s the first one out of there.  Farmer John putting out some fresh cut grain—ditto!

So you might say that the secret to our success lies in the goats—not in their milk but their eyes. At that time in our lives, they helped us see things from a different perspective. Had they not, Beekman 1802  would have never been created.

In life, we can find ourselves in all kinds of ruts. Maybe you can’t decide what you want to make for dinner, or how to spend your time on a cool autumn weekend, or perhaps there are bigger obstacles creating blind spots.

Figure out how to see your problems differently. Temporarily suspend how you are viewing life and ask how someone else might approach the problem.  Simply ask yourself, “What would so and so do in this situation?” Sometimes just that simple exercise is so jarring that you come up with your own new ideas.

by Josh and Brent

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