TODAY I heard the news of the passing of Stan Lee. Being a massive Marvel fan myself I felt pretty saddened by the unexpected news. I guess we all could have guessed that it would have to happen sometime soon with him being 95, but Stan Lee had an energy about him that made people think he would never die.
I find Stan Lee to be an inspiring individual in regards to his accomplishments, wisdom, and determination. I thought it would be appropriate to write a blog post on what I admire most about the man himself.
#1 – He Was a Visionary
What an imagination Stan Lee had for the future of his comics. He had a dream, an idea, and a vision that he wanted to see become a reality. He had these visions for each and every character he created.
He wanted each character and every story to have an impact on his goals and his readers. Having to compete with the likes of DC early in his career, Stan Lee had to create a differentiating factor in his superheroes.
Forced to think out of the box, Stan Lee visualized superheroes that were like the rest of us. They weren’t from other planets and they weren’t alien creatures. These superheroes he envisioned struggled with every day challenges like the rest of us.
This vision created a revitalized comic era. These superheroes were flawed and more relatable. At the time Stan Lee didn’t know whether or not these characters would be a success, but him and the other co-creators had a vision for a new era of superheroes and they went with their guts.
#2 – He Inspired the ‘Little Guy’
Throughout his career and success there has been quite a bit of controversy on who actually created quite a few of the popular Marvel superheroes. Was it Jack Kirby or Stan Lee?
Now, there may be some people that know more on this than I do, but from my what I’ve gathered from being a massive Marvel fan is that Stan Lee often did the story creating and Jack Kirby did a lot of the actual character creation.
Regardless, there is often an inspiring trend in the Marvel superheroes. Take Spider-Man and Captain America for example. Both characters, prior to being superhuman, are individuals that no one would have expected to be super. Stan Lee thought it be fitting for them to be super considering there voracious desire to do right and sacrifice for the good of others. How are these characters not inspiring to the ‘little guy’?
Taking a quote from Alan Turing, the great World War 2 Mathematician –
“Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.”
#3 – He Worked His Passion
The man was working with Marvel until the day he died. He was involved in projects, new stories, and the vision for Marvel all the way up until his death. He clearly was on fire for the things that made him a legend.
I hear people talk about retirement quite often. I say, “Retire! How could you want to retire?” People want to retire because they are uninspired and they are not working in their passion. Stan Lee is an inspiration for those who are searching for their passion and a motivator for those who are already working in their passion.
Wouldn’t you like to be doing something you are so passionate about that you are doing it into your 90’s? I do. And for those of you who don’t know what your passion is yet, isn’t Stan Lee an inspiration for finding it? I want to be as happy with my work in my 90’s as he was. He inspires me to work my passion till the day I die.
“I’m happiest when I’m working. If I’m not working, I feel like I’m wasting my time.” – Stan Lee
#4 – He Was a Reader
“The more you read, the better you’re going to become as a storyteller.” – Stan Lee
Stan Lee recognized the importance of reading and how it related to his career. Now, yes, reading and writing go hand in hand, but I believe storytelling is incredibly important in any and all careers. Storytelling is an art that gives people an advantage over other individuals in the marketplace.
If storytelling is an advantage that will help me in the marketplace and I know that reading is what helps develop that skill, you better bet I’m going to read as much as I can. Stan Lee was an advocate for reading. He believed that it stretched your imagination, provided ideas, and taught you how to tell stories.
I think we should all take a note from Stan Lee’s life and discipline ourselves to read a little bit more.
Stan Lee has left an incredible legacy behind him. We should all strive to do the same. I’m inspired by the legend of Marvel and you should be to. In honor of Stan Lee, in the comments below tell me who your favorite Marvel Superhero is and why.
RIP Stan Lee – 1922-2018
“To have an idea is the easiest thing in the world. Everybody has ideas. But you have to take that idea and make it into something people will respond to – that’s hard.“ – Stan Lee