I’ve admitted before that I’m a huge nerd, but it gets worse – I’m actually still a Pokemon fan. I really miss playing the handheld Pokemon games. And because I no longer have time to conquer the Poke world, I’ve decided to write about it.
Growing up, I watched Pokemon the show and Pokemon the movie(s), I played the Pokemon trading card game, and I was addicted to the handheld Nintendo Pokemon games! Yes, it probably sounds absurd, but I have a ton of fond memories related to such activities. My friends all played the games and we all traded cards. It was a grand ole time and a wonderful season of life.
Unfortunately, I grew up and things took a turn for the worst. Societal pressures required Pokemon abstinence. Public ridicule was too high a price to pay, so I was forced to hide my love for Pokemon. Every couple of years a new game was released and I would secretly spend hours at home conquering the Pokemon world! I was the captain of my soccer team, valedictorian of my high school class, and of course – Poke MASTER!
Eventually I found Vanessa and realized that she was worth keeping! To showcase my growing affection, I put together this thoughtful little request! **
Responsibilities grew while Pokemon become a fond memory. These days, We have a lot going on, so I haven’t played Pokemon in quite some time. But I still have the fond memories and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. Here are four life lessons that I’ve pulled from Pokemon.
Life’s a Journey (Start While You’re Young)
Pokemon follows the life of a young hero who goes from zero to hero. In the videogame, your personal story begins at home with a mother begging you to be careful on the big journey. You have no gear, no contacts, no powerful allies. You’re just a teenager with big dreams and a lot of excitement. As you progress, you learn the ropes, you grow up, you evolve. Along the way, you meet a bunch of doubters, some haters, and a few friends. And in the long and tiresome journey, you help strangers, give to friends, conquer bad guys, and train hard to be the best. Sounds a lot like life, huh?
Big Dreams Lead to Big Success
The main goal in the Pokemon game is to become the Pokemon League Champion (and catch them all). That’s a big leap for a teenager without a single Pokemon battle under his belt. But that dream is what carries the hero through each challenge. There are plenty of obstacles and setbacks, but the dream never fades. Each battle and Pokemon evolution brings you one step closer to the ultimate goal. The key here is acting upon the dream – going out and working towards it.
Many people I know have no goals beyond finding their next meal. In doing so, their lives become a continual string of mediocrity. I believe people exist to do meaningful work. So many people waste their precious time doing something they despise. I don’t think it has to be that way. Find what you love, figure out how to make money doing it, and pursue it. You can’t sit around twiddling your thumbs and expect that your dreams will magically come true.
Failure Isn’t an Option
In the Pokemon journey, a major objective is defeating the gym leaders at various cities. In fact, you can’t proceed in the game until you conquer each one. Winning requires strategy, determination and a bunch of practice to level up your Pokemon. I can’t tell how many times I’ve lost those big battles. Sometimes I deserved to lose, other times it felt like the opponent just got lucky. Sometimes the whole game just conspires against you. But the beautiful part is waking up in the Poke hospital all refreshed and healed, ready to battle again. There aren’t any absolute failures, just temporary setbacks that can be overcome by more work and a lot of determination.
Winning at Anything Requires Strategy
Pokemon are classified by their unique type. Some are grass, fire, water, ghost, dragon, etc. Each type is weak against a few types and strong against others. So fire is strong against grass, but weak against water. This unique setup is what made Pokemon the game so addictive. If you played your cards right, your attack would be “super effective” – which meant doing double damage to the opponent and almost always winning the battle. The likelihood of success is directly correlated to strategy and proper planning. The same is true in life. It’s impossible to succeed without a plan. It’s the diligent planners who are super effective in life.
** – I didn’t ask her to be my girlfriend like that. That’s a joke!
That’s all I’ve got. Do you play video games? Have you learned any life lessons from them?