How Pokemon Can Teach You About Life

How Pokemon Can Teach You About Life
Reading Time: 8 minutes

If I had to say one word to describe me in the 90’s it would definitely be Pokemon. If you’re a millennial (like me) you can’t deny that Pokemon wasn’t the thing that everyone in the world talked about.

For some it may have just been a collection of cartoons, card games, and video games that was at its highest peak of popularity in the late 90’s but if you really analyze everything Pokemon you might find more than just that.

Yes, just like the title says, Pokemon can teach you about life!

It’s something that of course we wouldn’t realize it growing up because we just didn’t realize it when we were younger.

So I came up with different ways in which you can learn life lessons from Pokemon and here they are.

Never Give Up Everyone!

If there’s one person in the show that went through defeat after defeat that was the shows main protagonist, Ash Ketchum. I remember watching him go through so many Pokemon League defeats and losing in the tournament final battles. I would always question as to why he could never win and their creative team finally put an end to this losing streak. Recently in an episode from the Sun and Moon series, he finally won an official league! It took him over 20 years but all those battles paid off.

Never Give Up

If this doesn’t teach you to never give up no matter how long it takes, I don’t know what would. If you ever feel like giving up on anything, think about Ash and all of the defeats he had. Yes, I know, it’s just a cartoon but it’s an inspirational story still.

Leaving Home is Good

In the show, Ash leaves his home to embark on a long adventure of meeting so many people, battling in gyms, collecting Pokemon, and the occasional Team Rocket battle. This shows you that it’s a good idea and important to leave your home (of course not at Ash’s age) but at any point after you become an adult because you learn a lot more about the world that way.

Leaving Home to College
Leaving home whether it’s to go to college or just to not live with your parents, can be tough but it brings about so many life lessons.

If Ash would’ve never left his home, imagine how many Pokemon he would’ve caught? Probably just Pikachu and the occasional Pidgey or Rattata (if you played the Gameboy games you’ll know what I mean).

Bonding with Pets

If you’re not really a pet person, you may have just become one after watching the anime. How many times have we seen Ash treat his Pokemon like they’re friends and occasionally cry in sad moments when they leave (like that one episode where he let Charizard leave to join other Charizards). The bond he forms with his Pokemon teaches you so much about the bond that people actually form with their pets too.

Bonding with Pets

Some Pet Training Can Be Tough

And on that pet note, another lesson learned is that just like Ash had the hardest time training Pikachu at first to not shock him again (and a variety of other Pokemon throughout the show), training your own pet can sometimes be tough. It can take you months to get them to trust you and listen to everything you say but no matter how difficult it may seem, it’s possible.

Pet Training
Training this cat seems like it’d be difficult but not impossible!

Overcoming Sad Moments

The anime & some of the movies have had many moments of sadness. Who doesn’t remember the scene of the first movie when all the Pokemon cry because Ash gets turned into stone? Or the moment when Ash thinks that Pikachu wants to stay with the rest of his Pikafriends (not their actual name) and starts leaving and crying? Or as I mentioned before that moment when Ash leaves his Charizard? Or the moments when someone from Ash’s team had to leave the group and go their own way? (like when Misty and Brock left). Fortunately, things change and the sadness goes away in most of the sad moments. These moments have fortunately shown us that moments of sadness can be overcome.

Overcoming Sad Moments
If you’re going through a sad moment, don’t worry. You can overcome this and be happy again.

Reading Skills

Who doesn’t remember the Scholastic series of Pokemon books that were basically about some of the anime episodes? I remember buying them in my classrooms book catalog and anxiously waiting weeks for it to arrive. Well these books helped improve reading skills. If you were a big Pokemon fan like me, you were motivated to read back then because of them (even though you already knew the outcome of the book, especially if you didn’t miss an episode like me lol).

Organizational Skills

This one might vary with everyone but you likely still can relate to it. Pokemon come in a variety of different types (fire, water, grass, psychic, etc.) and when you had more than one type, you probably would separate your cards by type and kind of card (Energy and Trainer card). You may have not realized this, but it actually taught you some organizational skills (whether they passed on to organizing other things or not, at least you organized your cards).

It especially helped to organize them when it came to trading cards with other friends as it made it easier to find the cards to trade and for your friends to look at which ones you had.

Organized Folders

Learning Math

Yes, it’s helped you learn math! In all of the Pokemon (insert color, gem, etc. here) Version games, you usually earn their Pokedollars (it actually doesn’t have an official name but just to call it what others do) which you can use to buy in the item stores. Who didn’t do the math to figure out how much you could spend on each item to use the money wisely? Especially if you all had left was to go to the Gym and battle the Gym Leader.

If you’ve played the trading card game, you know that there is plenty of addition, subtraction and multiplication going on too (which is made easier thanks to the hit coins).

Learning Math
Who didn’t like math, especially when you were close to winning a battle?

First Homework, then Quizzes, then Exam, and a Final

Again in the “version” games, you come across trainers battling you outside of gyms and these are the equivalent of all that reading and homework that you have for a class. When you go to the gyms you come across more trainers that are just hanging out there, ready to battle anyone, these are the equivalent of taking quizzes. After you beat these “gym hang-out” trainers, you battle the Gym Leader, which would be the equivalent of that Chapter or Multi-Chapter Exam that you have. At the end of the games you typically have the best-of-the-best leaders (which are sometimes known as the Elite Four) and then finally your main rival in the game, these are equivalent to that Final Exam that you have at the end of most of your courses.


It Taught Us Patience

The “version” games have also taught us about patience. Unless you’ve binge-played a game for most of a day for a month, you know that training your Pokemon, leveling them up, as well as just having a strong team to win the next battle, took patience. This in turn taught us to be patient in life because just like in the game. For example, it can take a while to complete your college degree (which can take a while especially these days) but you have to pass courses in order to move on (which would be equivalent to leveling up your Pokemon to be that close to your objective of being the Pokemon Master).

There’s Requirements

Continuing on with the mention of these “version” games, you have to go through a variety of gyms and obtain badges which at the end grant you access to battle the top trainers in the Pokemon world. This taught us that you can’t just go to the finish line and expect to finish but that there are requirements that you have to meet before you get there. An example of this is that we can’t just go get a Doctorate because we just want to get there already. We have to start college from the beginning and work our way there (First Associates (if in community college), then Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctorate).

It’s Good To Exercise

Unless you were living under a rock a couple of years ago, you likely heard of the “Pokemon Go” craze. If you didn’t, no worries, I’ll let you know what it is. It is (yes, it’s still around!) an app that was made by Niantic Labs in which you used your phone’s GPS to be able to catch Pokemon as you walked anywhere. If you don’t walk then you will most likely not progress much in the game or collect much items.

Pokemon GO
When Pokemon Go came out it had people that weren’t even Pokemon fans, playing it! I can’t imagine how many steps in total tha all of the people that have played the game have taken.

So beyond the fact that you were probably motivated to go out and exercise more thanks to the game (Yes it helped me have more reasons to walk outside), it helped show you that exercising is great and can help you feel healthier. 

Restored Faith

Before 2019, most people said that most live action video game movies were terrible and that video games and movies just could not work well together. This year, Detective Pikachu, proved them wrong and showed that people can and should have more faith even if it might seem like there will never be anything great because of the past.

Moments of Joy

If you’re a fan of Pokemon, you can relate to this in one way or another, but let’s face it, we’ve had a moment or moments of joy thanks to it. I remember when I got my first couple of cards (actually got them for free in exchange for letting my uncle borrow my Mario 64 game), getting that Ancient Mew card at the movie theater, buying lunchables just for the coin cardboard cutouts, playing Pokemon GO and realizing that it was the kind of game that all of us fans always wanted, and I could keep naming many more moments but you get the point. 

Moments of Joy in Pokemon

The Motivational Song

And last but (certainly) not least (in fact this is probably one of the best), the Pokemon Theme Song. The very first song that you probably ever heard from the show and without a doubt the most played song (possibly in the history of anime and video games but don’t quote me on that). This song is full of motivation throughout the lyrics that I could write on every single lyric.

But, just to pinpoint one of the lyrics:

“I want to be the very best” – who doesn’t want to be the best at anything? This is such a great line and one of my favorites in the song.

So there you have it, a variety of reasons on the life lessons that you can learn from Pokemon. So go out and play the games, collect the cards or watch the anime show/movies and think about all of the nostalgia that comes from it (especially if you’re a millennial too).


Do you have any additional life lessons that you’d like to add to the list? Are there some here that you can relate to? Then please leave a comment below.

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4 thoughts on “How Pokemon Can Teach You About Life”

  1. Luis I really dig the analogy here. Especially never giving up. Life teaches us many rich, freeing lessons if we simply do not give up. I saw the Ryan Reynolds movie about Pokemon and loved it 😉


    1. Hi Ryan, yes never giving up is a valuable lesson. I really liked the movie too. In my opinion Detective Pikachu is the best video game movie ever made (although I’m still hopeful the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie gets to be as great 😅)

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