April 4, 2014 by philipbullitthughes
Ash Ketchum is a Pokémon Master. Well, at least he wants to be. He has the heart, the gumption, and the character, but there is only one thing holding him back: he’s a perpetual ten-year-old. Ash is an ENFP, the type often referred to as the “Champion,” and for good reason.
Like most ENFPs, Ash is talented in most any area that catches his fancy. It just so happens that he is enthralled by all things Pokémon. He earns badge after badge, wins countless battles, and while he doesn’t ever catch ‘em all, he does put a dent in his pokédex. But for all of his accomplishments, Ash’s journey almost never began. Why? Because Ash suffers from the plague common to most ENFPs—he struggles with being on time.
Eager anticipation courses through our young hero as he awaits the opportunity to begin his Pokémon adventure, and the night before he can hardly sleep. To his dismay, the next morning he wakes up to find he has overslept, leaping from his bed and hurrying off to see if there could possibly be any Pokémon left for him. Fortunately, Professor Oak has compassion on Ash, noting that despite his faults he has the makings of a very apt trainer. Ash is compassionate, loyal, and has an extra dose of stubbornness. Thus, Professor Oak sees an opportunity that other personality types would have difficulty handling: winning the heart of a suffering Pokémon. He gives Ash the, oh so cuddly and extremely moody, Pikachu.
Of course, Ash’s relief is palpable, and upon meeting his new friend greets him enthusiastically. Much to his disappointment, Pikachu is not happy to meet him, and tells him so by electrocuting him. But does Ash give up on his new Pokémon? Of course not. He graciously adopts Pikachu despite his refusing to live in his pokéball home, his blatant disrespect and mistrust for Ash, and his shocking grumpiness.
If there is one thing the ENFP possesses in their arsenal of character traits, it is longsuffering, and Ash is no exception. He continues to coax Pikachu, pulling him along everywhere he goes, allowing him to live free from the confines of his Pokéball, even though Pikachu still doesn’t trust him. It isn’t until Ash proves that he truly, unconditionally cares for his Pikachu, protecting him from a gang of angry Spearows, that he earns his trust. From then on, the two of them become best friends, and the rest is history.
Ash Ketchum has many fine qualities, but the one that seems to stand out the most is his charisma. The boy is special, able to inspire those around him to action. In Pokémon the First Movie, Mewtwo, arguably the world’s most powerful Pokémon, threatens to destroy the entire structure of the world, creating superior clones to do battle with the lowly originals. No one can stand up to Mewtwo’s might, and just when all seems lost, it is Ash that rises to meet this foe, an army of Pokémon at his heels. He leads the charge, daringly attacking Mewtwo himself, igniting a battle of epic proportions.
As is the case with ENFPs, Ash doesn’t always think things through—leaping off buildings, sailing across oceans despite raging storms, attacking the most powerful Pokémon with his bare fists despite not having any real power—and it quickly becomes apparent that fighting this war is not the best course of action. So, true to his Champion’s spirit, he becomes a martyr, lunging forward, leaping between two powerful attacks that turn him to stone. It is this sacrifice that turns the tide of Mewtwo’s heart, and he sees that not all humans are evil. Thus, he ends his campaign against humanity and the world is safe.
In conclusion, if you have an ENFP in your life, remember to accept them for their flaws and to appreciate them for what they bring to life: charm, charisma, ingenuousness, their ability to inspire and encourage. Like Ash Ketchum, they need to master the ability to follow through, for if they do they are able to make an enormous impact for good in the world.