Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds. ~Orison Swett Marden
Toru Iwatani had a great idea. His goal was to create a game that would attract girls to the gaming industry. While today’s gamer is only slightly more likely to be male, gaming in the late 1970’s was very much a boy’s club. Iwatani wanted to change this and so, Pac-Man was born.
Back then, there were no home gaming systems so people had to go to the arcade if they wanted to play games. He said that the arcade was a playground for boys and it was dirty and smelly. His thinking was that if gaming included female players it would become cleaner and brighter.
So, off he went, unknowingly designing a game with a character recognized by 94 percent of American consumers. According to the Davie-Brown Index it has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among Americans. No small feat, but also not an easy task.
Ghost in the Machine
It’s kind of hard to picture that world famous game without the brightly colored ghosts that we’re used to (hopefully) getting eaten by Pac-Man. But when the game was being developed Iwatani says he was pressured to change things. In fact, the president of Namco ordered him to make all of the ghosts red, since it was thought that players would be confused into believing that some ghosts were actually Pac-Man’s allies.
Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with the wind. ~Hamilton Wright Mabie
Iwatani refused, taking it upon himself to ask the game’s testers if they preferred a single color ghost or four different colors. Not one person wanted the ghosts to be the same color. This ultimately convinced the president she was wrong.
The lesson: Seek the advice of those you can trust and who have similar vision for confirmation if your gut tells you you’re onto something.
Have you ever been faced with opposition? Did anyone ever shoot down one of your good ideas or tried to discourage you from pursuing something?
Well, from this point forward persevere in spite of them. That’s why it’s your idea or your dream or goal, so that you can go after it, no one else. They don’t have to understand it, or even support it. It’s your baby, so don’t give up on it until you have tried everything. If everyone buckled under opposition the world would be a drastically different place than it is today.
Edison failed 10, 000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times. ~Napoleon Hill
At the very least, technologically speaking, it’s possible we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy many of the things we now relate to as commonplace, including light, computers, and even the now classic Pac Man, which some may feel is equally as important as light.
The lesson: Don’t let small obstacles or the naysayers deter you from forging ahead.
Bend, Don’t Break
Sometimes things don’t turn out according to our plans. But that doesn’t mean we should quit. Maybe it means we can rethink our strategy and possibly find some sort of compromise.
Pac-Man was designed to be as simple as possible in order to attract a wide audience. The limits of technology in the early eighties unintentionally made this a little easier to achieve. So sometimes limitations can be a good thing.
There was another idea Iwatani wanted to add to the game. It was a shelter that would move up and down and when the ghost came, the ghost would be pinched by the shelter and that would disfigure it. With the technology at the time this wasn’t possible. Sometimes it doesn’t all go our way, so we need to compromise. You win some, you lose some, but you can still win overall.
Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
~George Bernard Shaw
The lesson: You might not be able to get exactly what you want, but that doesn’t mean that your life, career or relationship has to fail. Instead it can still be a success and have a positive impact on those around you.
Just because one idea couldn’t be done didn’t mean that he had to give up on the game entirely did it? It may sound silly but there are times I’ve seen people throw in the towel because of a minor setback. They get easily discouraged for whatever reason. Persevere, adapt and overcome. Whether it’s a speed bump or a monkey wrench, don’t let it prevent you from moving forward towards your goals.
A setback does not have to be a letdown. A stumbling block does not have to be a sinkhole. Remember that your goals and dreams are too important to be deterred by any struggles you may encounter along the way, so keep moving forward. Do not let anyone stop you, especially yourself!
It is a true miracle when a man finally sees himself as his only opposition.
Rock Star Life Coach & Sales Trainer