Efficiency seems to always be the goal. In today's culture, at work, the car wash, grocery shopping, everywhere we turn, efficiency has become our currency. In my lifetime, and I am only 28, I have seen grocery stores go from a conversation over bagging goods to a lonely machine with a scanner. Smiling faces at the bank replaced by depositing checks on a phone application, efficiency is everywhere. We seem to accept this reality without even asking the question, is efficiency always healthy. Is the quickest route the best route? It seems the more streamlined and efficient we find ourselves, the more we keep asking, “how did things get so messed up?”.
The outdoor industry is no stranger to this mindset. Our goal is limits and whatever it takes to get the pile picture. If we don’t have a pile, we dare not even post about the hunt. Gone are the days where the adventure is worth the wait. Today, we are defined by efficiency. We don’t celebrate the first bird of the day, only the last bird of the limit. If we go home with anything shy of an eight-man we feel defeated and ask what went wrong. The problem is that the only thing wrong is our expectation for efficiency. Our problem is that the work-world of quotas and sales numbers has creeped into the calmness that we call nature. So, I began to challenge myself, and I would like to challenge you, to embrace inefficiency. Enjoy the process. Take your grandpa’s old pump shotgun out for a hunt this season, use the old floating decoys your dad hunted in high school. As difficult as this next one sounds, it is probably the most freeing, leave your phone at home. When you get bored, remember that the goal is sometimes to simply be inefficient and enjoy the moment. After all, memories are moments embraced and not soon forgotten.
This season let’s embrace inefficiency. Let’s remember that relationships outlast corners cut and quotas met. Let’s focus on the family and the true joy that comes from experiencing the outdoors uninhibited by fears and anxieties. Let’s embrace inefficiency.
At Lucky Duck, we know a thing or two about deception. It is kind of what we do. Don’t deceive yourself this season by rushing around trying so hard to limit out that you miss out on the adventure along the way. Take your child outdoors and instill within them a love for the process, not solely the product. Embrace the inefficiency of snack breaks, naps under trees, and thirty more minutes before packing up even though they are destined to be as slow as the last thirty minutes. Each trip is a blessing. The next hunt is never promised, so make this moment count.
So, grab some buddies and the trusted old retriever and adventure somewhere new. Trek deeper into that public slough you have been “meaning to scout.” Make a memory, because for the outdoorsman, efficiency is not always the goal. Success to the outdoorsman is simply the adventure along the way.