Maybe I lack in brain cells, but the whole clockwise vs. counter-clockwise thing baffled me for the longest time. Then I realized it only works if you watch the yarn over by pointing the hook or needles towards your face. That simple, if awkward, act changed my understanding of needlework.
If you are new to knitting or crochet, perhaps the most difficult thing to remember is not to think. I kid you not--if you try to focus your brain on what you are trying to accomplish, you will start having a hard time learning. You just have to jump in with both feet.