We learn lessons as a kid that we find ourselves revisiting as an adult.  I would like to tell you are story about one lesson I learned from crawdad hunting that still resonates with me to this day.

Success & Crawdad Hunting

When I was a kid, a fun thing we used to do was to go Crawdad hunting.  What are Crawdads?  They’re Crayfish.  We had a blast doing it.  When we first starting hunting them, we, the kids, did more splashing around in the creek water then working and hunting for crawdads.  I can honestly say we made quite a racket.  I’m certain we probably scared away anything living.  My Dad and the other adults were quiet and very methodical about the whole thing.  When we kids finally settled down to hunt in earnest for our crawdads, we looked for and overturn only the biggest rocks.  As you can imagine, our buckets were fairly empty when the time came to go home.

Crawdad Hunting, Findingourwaynow.com

It took awhile before I started to pay attention to what the adults and other successful hunters were doing. It didn’t make any sense to me.  As time passed, I noticed my bucket was always half of what the adults would have at the end of our hunting.  I was miffed and totally frustrated.  I then started to work harder turning over larger rocks and still with the same results.

I gave up and sat on the bank with a forlorn face watching everyone.  Dad came over, sat down beside me asking me why so glum.  I blurted out that I just didn’t get it, why did I always have the smallest amount of crawdads than what he did.  I turned over rocks like everyone else.  I sat there with my chin in my hands feeling very sorry for myself.

Crawdad Hunting, Findingourwaynow.comMy dad and I were quiet for a while.  It was a beautiful settling, and my gloom seemed to pass. When Dad was ready to start crawdad hunting again, he asked me to follow him.  He then taught me what I was doing wrong.  It was a lesson that I have never forgotten.  It applies to so many things in life. It was especially true for me as a teacher and a sales person.

When you’re crawdad hunting, you need to turn over EVERY rock.  Why?  You just never know what great surprises you might find under even the smallest rock.  From that point on, I always had a full bucket.

Whenever I get frustrated with any project or venture I remember my Dad and our crawdad hunting days.  I will always ask myself if I’ve turned over every rock.

The lesson is clear; it will take hard work and to look for every possibility. Doing that one thing can yield far greater results than just looking at the (perceived) bigger stuff.  I have my Dad to thank for that.

I would like to give a special thanks to Susan Oakes from M4B Marketing who has been an amazing supporter or mine and the one you gave me the inspiration for this post/podcast.

What childhood lessons have you learned, that has stayed with you?  Have they helped you achieve your desired goals?

Life’s journey continues…

If you liked “Crawdad Hunting,” check out Dyslexia and A Father’s Advise For His Daughter



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  • Julie

    WOW, I love this story. It really was fun to listen to you tell it on the podcast.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Julie, Thanks so much. What did you enjoy the most in the story?

  • Cheryl Therrien

    Very good lesson indeed! It’s a lot like doing the same thing over & over again expecting a different result. Look at what you are doing & perhaps try it a different way – like looking under all the rocks instead of just a few. :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Cheryl, It really is. It is something we all need reminding of form time to time, especially me… LOL. :-)

  • http://biz.leoraw.com/about/ Leora Wenger

    I think both my daughter and I could use this lesson. We both get frustrated too quickly … I love how you tell a story, Susan. Well done again.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      LOL… Leora, I’m with you there, I think we all need to hear this lesson form time to time. Thanks so much for you very kind words my friend. :-)

  • http://www.CreateBalance.net/blog CreateBalance

    I was anything BUT patient as a child. It took the experience and wisdom of the aging process for me to learn it. Good lesson to learn young. I think the biggest thing I learned from my Father was forgiveness.

  • Jon Jefferson

    Were you hunting them for eating? I am curious because we used to hunt crawdads when I was a kid. Though it was more for fun. The 70s and earlier were not good to the Kalamazoo River. It is slowly cleaning up now but for many years it was one of the dirtiest rivers in the country. Imagine all the water in Michigan but for generations it was treated so poorly.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Jon, We hunted them for both reasons. We kids would catch anything just for fun and put the little ones back in to the creek. The creeks where we lived were spring feed to they were very clean and clear. :-)

  • Adrienne Jones

    Oh, that’s such a good lesson.
    My mom always told me that people can dislike you for no reason, and that it’s ok to be disliked if you’re being true to yourself and not hurting anyone else. As a kid who was frequently disliked for being smart/fat/quiet/etc. it was good to know that not being liked is not the end of the world!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Adrienne. We all learn lesson in our own way and in our own time. :-)

  • http://writespeaksell.com jeannettepaladino

    Susan — As usual, a thoughtful post. It’s so true. Sometimes we give up too soon. However, based on my first business, I held on too long. It wasn’t working but I always thought success was around the corner. You have to be honest and ask yourself: am I not succeeding because I haven’t looked under every rock, or am I too stubborn to understand there are no more rocks to turn over on this path — time to take another path.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      That’s a very good point Jeannette, When all is said and done and there are no more rocks to turn over then it really is time to move on to something or someplace else. :-)

    • Jeri Walker-Bickett

      I felt that way about teaching. I hung on forever, thinking if I only did this or that differently, the job would be less stressful and I would have more free time. I think it’s safe to say I turned each rock over five times and then some.

      • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

        Yep, I did that too before I finally decided there was nothing left but to leave. :-)

      • http://writespeaksell.com jeannettepaladino

        Jeri — I know from your writing that you’re much happier. So I’m happy for you!

  • Arleen Harry

    I loved your story. It is so true, we give up too early. What I loved is that your Dad, didn’t do it for you but gave you the tools to figure it out for yourself. Today parents to everything for children and then they can’t think on their own and yes give up on what they are doing early as their parents will do it for them. My parents let us figure things out on our own. I remembering my parents saying never leave any stone unturned. So our lessons were the same, except we didn’t go hunting for crawdads which sounded like more fun.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks so much Arlene, It sounds like your parents were much like mine. Regardless of how we leaned any lesson, we got the message. It was fun and i think that’s why it’s always stayed with me. :-)

  • Jeri Walker-Bickett

    I’m a perfectionist who can often get frustrated fairly easily, so some days I feel like I do everything so slowly compared to others, but then I forget out comparing myself to others and just focus on making progress I can be happy with. I need to get better at turning over the rocks and learning how to oven.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      I can relate, one perfectionist to another… LOL. We all do that and it can be a bit of a show stopper if we don’t reset our thinking. That you do well my friend. :-)

  • lisa melia

    fabulous lesson, I shall remember this, and your images are stunning!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks so much Lisa and welcome. I am so glad you enjoyed the podcast and my creations. :-)

  • Loren Dalton

    Yep, Susan. You’ve always been a great “turner-over of rocks”. Great story.
    Thanks,
    Loren

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi there Loren, You would know… LOL. I’m still at it. :-)

  • Glynis Jolly

    I went crawdad fishing as a kid. Same basic principle for I would use string and either cheese or bologna pieces on the end of the string to dip into the water. I’m surprised that you knew so many adults engaged in this activity because I really do not see the value of crawdads for those of us who are human.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Glynis, The big one were like small lobsters. They were really good to eat. We also would go crabbing. That is for another day. :-)

  • Jessica Fedorko

    This is such good advice! So many times I find my self freaking out and thinking I haven’t done all that I could…but this is so true just to remember that what you have done is enough! Also a great podcast!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks you Jessica, It’s not always easy but we can’t bet the results when we do. :-)

  • Debra Yearwood

    Most of the time I really do think that trying harder is what’s required for success, but every once in a while I feel like I get caught between the comments made by Jeri and Jeannette. I ‘m never sure if I’ve gotten frustrated too easily or if I just have to know when to let go. As always I love the podcast.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks so much Debra, I know what you mean. They both have such good point and insights. In the end it best to try and never give up. that doesn’t mean we don’t take a different course (or creak). It just means we stick with it. And that is an other post for another time. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/m4bmarketing Susan Oakes

    Thank you Susan for the mention and same back to you my friend :) I am glad you explained what a crawdad is. Your dad taught you a great lesson and his approach of one we can all learn from especially those of us you are not the most patient.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      You are so welcome Susan. Isn’t that the truth, I’m still working on the patience thing… LOL.

  • http://joannerambling.wordpress.com/ Jo-Anne

    What a great lesson to learn

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Jo-Anne. I knew you’d enjoy it. :-)

  • Catarina Alexon

    Patience is a virtue. Hard as it is we all need to have it + not give up too soon.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Yep, that is the truth Catarina. I think I still need reminding of that every now and then… LOL

  • http://www.patricia-weber.com Patricia Weber

    Valuable lesson for certain. Oh dear. Childhood lessons?! Now that would take a blog post OR a few for certain. Hmmm. Gives me an idea. You are THE best Susan.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Patricia, That’s so cool. I can wait to see what you post now… :-)

  • http://broadcastingsunny.blogspot.com/ Broadcasting Sunny

    I suppose as a child, you didn’t need to eat that much LOL. Nevertheless, I agree, turning over every rock (and being dilligent about it) brings in a bounty :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Yep, great lesson for a kid. your Right, those crawdads where pretty small and you needed allot of them to make a meal. The truth is it was more for fun and added to a meal and weren’t the main course. :-D

  • Pat Ruppel

    Enjoyed your story Susan, especially the part with your father. I liked that he didn’t lecture or tell you what to do or acknowledge your self-pity. After some time, he simply invited you to come with him and showed you how he hunted the crawdads. He left the rest entirely up to you. It was great — that’s a good teacher!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Dad was that way Pat. I think he is where I gained my own patience and understanding of human nature. I was a lucky kid. :-)

      • Pat Ruppel

        Sounds like a wise man and you certainly were blessed! :-)

        • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan P. Cooper

          I do believe I was. :-)

  • Adrienne

    Your Dad sounds like mine Susan, always patient in teaching us a lesson.

    Those sound like some very happy times with you Dad and I bet it was fun. I never cared for crawdad but I did love crabs. We use to go fishing for those back in the day.

    Appreciate you sharing this adorable story with us.

    ~Adrienne

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      They really were Adrienne. I would say we were both pretty luck when it came to our Dads, don’t you think?

  • Homejobs Bymom

    We actually went to the creek yesterday and my oldest had a greating time catching these guys. They were huge though like baby lobsters. He thought it was so cool.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan P. Cooper

      I bet your son had a great time, Krystle. The really big crawdads can taste a bit like lobster. Did you eat them or just throw back? :-)

  • Rebecca Thompson

    I’m not sure I remember anything quite as vividly as you did. I love this story though, it is incredible how something so simple can lead to such a huge revelation.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan P. Cooper

      Hi Rebecca, I was always a very observant child (a side benefit or affect of being dyslexic). I do agree. The key is to be open to the lesson. My Dad just knew how to deliver the message in such a way that it would stick. :-)

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