Stan Lee: 6 Lessons About Career, Life and More.

Stan Lee has said things that people can use as lessons for life. In memory of him, I decided to write this article.

 

Image of Stan Lee and Quote, Life is never completely without its challenges.
Photo Taken by Gage Skidmore, WikiMedia Commons, Shared Under CC BY-SA 2.0 – Remixed by Gloria Dwomoh

 

“Someone wants to do a movie of my life now and he’s writing a script, and I said to him, “What the hell could you do? I’ve never been arrested, I haven’t taken drugs, I’ve had the same wife for 54 years — where’s anything of interest to people?”

Quote Source: Stan Lee, Interview, April 30, 2002

For those who do not know, Stan Lee (Stanley Martin Lieber, December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018 ) is the creator of characters such as Spider-Man and once the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, later a publisher, and then a Chairman. He is an editor, producer, publisher, and an American comicbook writer. And no, in case you are wondering, “comicbook” is not a typo.

“Comic book should be written as one word. So from now on, I want you to remember that. I never want to see the word comicbook written as two words. They are not funny books. They are not comic books, they are comicbooks! Remember that, or incur my wrath.”

Quote Source: Stan Lee, YT Video, “Stan Lee Hates ‘Comic Books’ – Stan’s Rants”, 2012

These are some of the many things Stan Lee once said. There is, indeed, something interesting about his life, and today we’ll explore some things he said and how the lessons we extract from them can be applicable to our lives.

1. Having Only One Niche as a Creator.

“Everybody wants to feel that you’re writing to a certain demographic because that’s good business, but I’ve never done that … I tried to write stories that would interest me. I’d say, what would I like to read?… I don’t think you can do your best work if you’re writing for somebody else, because you never know what that somebody else really thinks or wants.”

Quote Source: Stan Lee, Brandweek, May 2000

If you find yourself having multiple interests you do not need to feel obligated to stick to only one niche. Having a niche has its perks, is a great way to build your following, and can present you as an expert on your respective topic, but having only one niche can be dangerous for someone with a lot of interests (If you want to know why, read my open letter to YouTube (1). The link will be available at the end of this article). So at the end of the day it is important to create content on things that interest you, even if it does not cater to the same demographic all the time, because that helps you put your best work forward.

2. Being Embarrassed of What You Do Because It Does Not Fit What Society Raves Of.

“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.”

Quote Source: Stan Lee, The Washington Post, July 23, 2010

When you are doing something for a living you need to link it to a purpose. Without a purpose it feels futile, and if what you are doing has no real purpose it might lead to you feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. Find the purpose behind what you do and if that purpose excites you, you are on the right track!

3. You Might Want to Move on from Doing a Thing You Once Liked.

“I’ve written so many things over the years that I don’t want to go back to being just a scriptwriter. I’m in what I consider to be the enviable position of all I have to do is come up with the idea and write an outline that makes it seem like it’s a viable idea that will interest people, and then other people write the scripts — and I become the executive producer or the producer, depending on how much involvement I have, and I get a creative credit and then move on to the next project.”

Quote Source: Stan Lee, Interview, April 30, 2002

People change, and even though you like doing the job you are doing today in few years from now that might change. As you are growing professionally, there are some things you might prefer to not do anymore. If you manage to attain the enviable position where you can easily choose what you want or do not want to do, as part of your job, take advantage of it because that is one way to make work fun!

“I don’t really see a need to retire as long as I am having fun.”

Quote Source: Stan Lee, Interview, Feb. 6, 2006 Read more

It Is Not Easy If You Cannot Explain It

It Is Not Easy If You Cannot Explain It

I found a simple way for us to increase the knowledge in the world. It all starts with the conclusion that it’s not easy if you cannot explain it. If we only state that something is easy without explaining our reasoning behind it that knowledge remains in our mind. By explaining the things we claim as easy to others who feel otherwise we share the knowledge and help it expand. Let’s us evaluate that idea in depth.

*Plot Change*

I am in my room; it’s quiet. Every now and then I hear the sound of a rumbling motorbike engine across the street. I then start thinking of an incident that took place years back. Long story short, a student told me that a course I was struggling with was easy but later on ended up failing it while I passed it.

When I realized what happened I felt disappointed. I couldn’t understand why would someone so overconfidently state that a course is easy only to end up failing it. Was this a fake it till you make it attempt? It could be many different things, life happens, but based on my experience with that specific person I knew it was an overestimation. This is more of a case of someone overestimating their understanding of something, and that is not uncommon. David Dunning, PhD. a social psychologist once said that “People overestimate themselves, but more than that, they really seem to believe it.” he followed that by saying “I’ve been trying to figure out where that certainty of belief comes from.” This form of bias is often characterised as the Dunning–Kruger effect.

Socrates, a classical Greek Philosopher, seems to have met similar people himself, in a statement he said:

“I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.”

— attributed to Socrates, from Plato, Apology

It is challenging to find a striking balance and keep ourselves on the sweet spot between overestimation and underestimation. If we are honest we will admit that we all have found ourselves on either end and in-between.

Now back to our main point, how can we increase the knowledge in this world? I’ll sum it up as: