Applying Pokemon in Real Life

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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!Pokemon High School

Eventually I found Vanessa and realized that she was worth keeping! To showcase my growing affection, I put together this thoughtful little request! **
Pokemon Dating

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 JourneyPokemon 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.

And one more nerdy Pokemon meme in honor of my favorite Crocodile Hunter.Pokemon Joke

** – 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?

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KristaHS @ Smart Money JunctionSam MatlaKC @ genxfinanceJustin Recent comment authors

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Krista
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Krista

I’m dying. I saw someone tweet this post and freaked out because I LOVE Pokemon. I was totally a closet Pokemon player, my mom would find me up in the middle of the night under the covers playing Pokemon Yellow when I was 12. Applying it to life? Nice.

HS @ Smart Money Junction
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HS @ Smart Money Junction

Oh man I used to love Pokemon. Even the graphics-void game used to be fascinating and addictive. Btw which was your favorite Pokemon??

Sam Matla
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Sam Matla

Well… this brings back some memories! I’m only 17 and haven’t played Pokemon in a couple of years. Absolutely love this article though, you did a good job of comparing it to real life.

Cheers!

KC @ genxfinance
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KC @ genxfinance

Feeling a bit nostalgic. Those were the days when I memorized all the Pokemons. Now, how many are they? I can’t keep up anymore.

Justin
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Justin

That’s a great reference Jacob. I was a bit old for pokemon. I played a bit of NES, but SNES and N64 were the systems that we played. Goldeneye was my favorite first person shooter.

Gary
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Gary

Great Pokemon reference Jacob! We need more call-backs to great pastimes like Pokemon. I love your point about failing is not an option. Sometimes it’s the little setbacks that help us learn.

Great post!

cj
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cj

I learned from Pokemon that no one I know is more like Pikachu than my wife. I never played because I am too old and missed the craze. This line really resonated with me – “There aren’t any absolute failures, just temporary setbacks that can be overcome by more work and a lot of determination.” This attitude now prevents me from over-thinking and over-deliberating and takes me straight to action. I can always apologize or ot back and tweak things later. But I act NOW!!!

Nice post, man.

Ms. D
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Ms. D

Nice analogy. I choose you… (Sorry, I had to say it!) I remember enjoying the show so much that I finished a cross-stitch of Jiggly puff. My sister completed Pikachu. Damn, we’re old.

Pretired Nick
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Pretired Nick

Hey, thanks for making feel old, you guys!! (:

anna
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anna

The kids I used to baby-sit watched Pokemon, so now I feel old! lol Those sound like great take-aways from your childhood passion. I admit, I was wondering for a split second if you really gave that to Vanessa! Thanks for clearing the air haha

CashRebel
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CashRebel

Haha! I can’t say that I can attribute any grand life lessons to Pokemon, but I sure did play it a lot as a kid. I remember when the blue version first came out, I was so excited when my dad came home with it! This brings back some crazy nostalgia. Remember when Picachu chose not to become Rychu, haha.

Ms. D
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Ms. D

I vaguely remember that episode but I remember being torn at Ash’s decision. Wow, that’s a long time ago.

John S @ Frugal Rules
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John S @ Frugal Rules

Great correlation between the two! Like Joe, I am much closer to the Tecmo Bowl days than Pokémon. I shudder to think of the time I wasted on some of the games and I did not get a cool lesson out of it either.

AverageJoe
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AverageJoe

Hilarious cartoon. Great analogy between Pokemon and success…something I would have never thought of. On a side note — in college our game was Super Techmo Bowl. We drove across town to buy a console at ToysRUs specifically so we could play this game. Talk about a waste of time and money…I think I used every dollar I had and so did my three roommates.