Iron Man is one of the most iconic characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he also has one of the more interesting character arcs, as he evolves from a rather selfish, apathetic playboy to a true hero who saves the entire universe. Tony Stark is also one of the more flawed heroes in the franchise, and he makes many notable mistakes along the way.
However, he also does some really heroic things, and the fact that he’s flawed and has nuance means that fans can learn just as much from his strengths as they can from his weaknesses. The lessons Iron Man can teach fans include things that they should do as well as some things that they shouldn’t.
10 Be more appreciative of the people who care about you
Despite being rich and famous, Tony Stark doesn’t start out in the series really having that many friends. He generally pushes people away because of his own selfish tendencies and insecurities, but he still has people, like Pepper and Rhodey, who try to be there for him in spite of this.
It takes time for Tony to see that he’s not alone in the world, and he has to learn to appreciate the people around him more for putting up with everything Tony puts them through. Fans can learn, as Tony did, that it’s important to value those that matter most.
9 Always have a plan B, plan C, plan D, etc…
Because of everything he’s been through and the fact that he’s a genius, Tony is always thinking ahead. While Tony might take things too far sometimes, it’s not a bad idea to have a contingency plan in place for many aspects of life.
Tony is always ready, because he’s always thought beyond just the next moment, and taken account that things may go wrong.
8 Using your resources to care for others is rewarding
Tony is someone who was born rich because of his parents, so he didn’t really have to work to become a billionaire he is. And, while there’s a lot that could be said about whether or not he deserves to be that rich, he does at least have the tendency to try to take care of others because of his wealth.
He makes suits for the people he loves and tries to use his money to clean up any messes the Avengers cause. And, while most fans s aren’t Tony levels of well-off, there is still something nice about the idea of doing what they can to help those around them.
7 It’s okay to be a little flashy sometimes
While Tony does have to learn at times to be substance over style, there’s also something exciting about his love of being a little flashy. He likes to show off, and he likes to have fun. Of course, he’s also an example of why you shouldn’t take things too far and be irresponsible, but having style and flair is a very good thing in moderation.
There’s a lot of enjoyment to be had in embracing fun, which Tony definitely knows all about. It’s all right to act like a bit of a rock star (but also to know where to draw the line.)
6 Putting off caring for your mental health is risky
Tony Stark deals with some very real and serious aspects of mental health in his movies, and while they might sometimes be made worse by the threat of things like alien invasion, the reality behind these is very applicable to many real people.
He doesn’t always address or get help from his own trauma and this ends up hurting himself and others around him. For most real people, things aren’t as dire as saving the universe, but Tony is a good example of why it’s important to prioritize mental health.
5 Mentoring others is a good use of your time
While Tony starts out being someone who has a hard time connecting to others and who keeps himself separate to avoid getting hurt, he becomes less this way over time.
He starts to take on mentorship roles for others around him, like Harley and then Peter Parker, and he learns that it’s important to pass on knowledge and help to the younger generation.
4 You can find family in many places
Seeing as how Tony had a rocky relationship with his dad growing up and then lost both of his parents when he was only in college, Tony clearly has a lot of issues around family. He felt very alone in the world despite having a lot of privilege and power, and he didn’t want to face the lack he felt for a long time.
However, he learns that he can find family and support in many ways. He finds friends and connections through the Avengers, and he learns to rely more on people like Rhodey and Pepper. He then gets to create his own family with Pepper and Morgan.
3 Making amends for your mistakes is important
There’s no denying that Tony Stark messes up a lot in the MCU. He creates Ultron, and he doesn’t always handle things with the other Avengers very well. However, despite this, he does at least try to make amends.
He might not have the best people skills, and he might not always go about things the right way, but he tries to fix things when he goes wrong. This is a good reminder for everyone that sometimes apologizing isn’t enough, and it’s important to try to set things right.
2 Opening up to others is scary, but worth it
Tony Stark’s story throughout the MCU is very much about him learning to trust others and open himself to genuine connection. He has to go through some tough life lessons when he sees the horrors that his weapons inflict, and he also sees that the way he went through life partying and not caring about anything wasn’t very fulfilling.
He clearly had a lot of insecurities and fears around opening up to others, but learning to do so is what brings him true happiness in life.
1 You can be a hero even if you’re flawed
One of the things that makes many heroes in the MCU so interesting to fans is that they’re not always heroic, and Tony is one of the best examples of this.
He’s flawed, and his actions cause harm, but he’s also good in many ways. However, one of the biggest takeaways fans can have from Iron Man is that heroes can be heroes even if they’re not always perfect or if have made mistakes in the past.
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