In this house we stan Wooloo. ‘Cos honestly, any creature so cute and yet so relentless at rolling into objects deserves an award for persistence. In honour of Pokémon Sword and Shield, here are some life lessons we’ve learned from living and playing Pokémon.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Both Wooloo and its evolved form Dubwool are extremely chill (although Dubwool packs a serious punch in battle!). Wooloo just blinks its cute eyes, chews some grass, and rolls around and into things, bleating occasionally. You just want to hug it. Wooloo does not worry about things it cannot control – it just Dubwools its way through battles when needed, gets the serious stuff done, and goes back to being cuddly. We’re pretty certain high blood pressure and insane stress levels are not a problem for Wooloo. And thus, the lesson: try not to sweat the small stuff. Rather save your energy for important things. Like loving your friends and family, keeping healthy, and finding a job you love. (And occasionally head-butting gates.)
Just keep chilling.
If you feel something, say something
Poor Psyduck: his permanent headache doesn’t make for a terribly fun life. The resultant psychic explosions flattens everything in their path. One thing you can say about Psyduck, though, is he doesn’t shut up when the pressure starts building. (“Psyduck! Psyduck!”) He gives his trainer plenty of cues that things are about to get real. It’s good to express your feelings, and it’s good to ask for help when you just can’t deal with your emotions anymore. When the heat is on, reach out to someone who’ll show you how to channel your negative feelings in a constructive direction
. (We’re looking at you, poor little Cubone… This “loneliest” Pokémon might feel loads better if it had a supportive chat with a friend.
It might be time to decompress.
Have fun whenever you can
Yamper is Pokémon Sword and Shield’s adorable Puppy Pokémon. It waddles around and delights players because… you can play catch with it. No, seriously: it’s the slowest game of catch in the world, maybe, but watching Yamper’s Corgi-like bum chasing after a Poké ball is the best. This doggo doesn’t mind having some fun in between nuzzling opponents, and that’s an important lesson right there: even when you’re working hard, you can still make time to play.
Dat butt, tho.
Being different is a good thing
No two Pokémon are the same. Their abilities and appearance are extremely diverse (say, Magicarp vs Rattata), and the creators of the Pokéverse clearly had loads of creative fun designing them. While we all have our favourites (Mew! Slowpoke!), it’s not hard to admit that they’re all pretty awesome. Their strength and charm comes from their diversity. They’re not particularly bothered with trying to fit in – and neither should you be. Be who you are, while accepting that others may be different than you. Acknowledging and embracing difference is a pretty powerful thing to do.
Let me splash you the song of my people.
Losing = learning
Yeah, losing sucks. So does failing at something you were really passionate about. But most of us only learn through failure. As a kid, you probably didn’t know what would happen if you put your hand on a hot stove plate – until you did it. Or perhaps you failed at your first class presentation – and learned to prepare better and what NOT to do next time. Learning from failure is about getting up when you’re down, and doing better next time.
A good team is everything
Pokémon all have different strengths and weaknesses, which means it’s important to build a well-balanced team that will help you deal with different battle situations. In real life, this basically translates into surrounding yourself with good friends and loved ones that complement you. Choose your team wisely, love them fiercely
, and remember that they don’t all have to be exactly like you.
Play to your skills
Every Pokémon has its own, unique skill set, and they kind of stick to what they’re good at. Frankly, we don’t think Charmander would do too well if he got bored and decided to try Squirtle’s watery party tricks. The strongest Pokémon train to hone their innate skills, and keep working at it until they level up to new powers. It works for humans, too: if you know what you’re good at
, you can focus on mastering it, and then start manipulating it to discover new abilities and opportunities. A nifty trick for life and work!
Never stop levelling up
In other words: don’t stop learning and improving your skills. Pikachu wasn’t always the cute little butt-kicker he’s become – when Ash and the yellow furball just started out, they were kind of weak and lazy, and easily defeated in their first few battles. But then Ash drops some of his cocky attitude, and the two start training non-stop… Cue fame, fortune and Ryan Reynolds playing Pikachu in his first live-action movie. Basically: hard work leads to success. Working towards your goals doesn’t have to be intimidating, either: simply break the process down into smaller goals, and conquer them one by one.
You and your dreams. In slow motion.
Never give up
Catching and raising Pokémon is not an easy task. It can take many hours of tedious play before you start getting to the good bits – but the good bits (aka FINALLY catching Mewtwo!) totally make up for it. Real life is pretty much the same. You’re going to have to work hard to reach your dreams, and a lot of that work is probably going to be boring. But all the pieces will eventually fall into place. Just don’t ever give up!
Slow and steady wins the race.