Why you should play Pokemon

When I was younger I was crazy about Pokemon. My dad took me to a Utah Jazz basketball game, but I didn’t watch basketball. I talked his ear off the whole game about my latest plans to collect cards, build a Lego. Pokemon facility, and my progress in conquering the Gameboy version of Pokemon.

When I was in high school I shed my love for Pokemon. I was “too cool” and didn’t want to “waste my time.”

I had a friend back then that continued to play. Brock was a Pokemon Red addict who was also the best player on the baseball team (and this was no small feat as Brock received a division one scholarship for his baseball talent). I would laugh at him for hustling after a baseball game to play Pokemon.

What’s so funny looking back is how much I missed the boat on Brock’s genius and the genius of playing something like Pokemon.

You see, the genius was in how Brock conditioned himself to “let go” of things outside of his control. Brock didn’t dwell on a bad game. If he struck out, he would hit it next time. If he made a fielding error, it’s all good, he’ll get it next time.

Me, on the other hand, well… I couldn’t let things go. My mind would be tortured by “what ifs”, “if onlys”, and “what could’ve been.”

On the field, the difference was stark. Brock remained calm under pressure. I tensed. Each new at bat was a fresh start for Brock, while I gathered two strikes struggling to forget about the last one.

Pokemon was Brock’s relaxation outlet. He dove into a fantasy land and he harmlessly released his internal pressure. I had no good outlet and never saw near the success because of it.

As the years go by and I deal with firefights at work, unrelenting life drama, and other stresses, I realize more and more how a harmless relaxation outlet is key. A good outlet releases pressure and harmless fun soothes a mind.

If you find yourself tormented by what you can’t control or if your mind is caught up in the past, try a new outlet. Release some pressure by playing Pokemon, writing, reading fiction, or go for a relaxing walk.

The point is to let your soul soothe as you refocus on what you can control in your “next at bat.” The next play at the plate, the next big meeting at work, and the next opportunity to do good at home will come. Release the pressure of the past and you’ll be better prepared for the opportunities in the future.