Nov 072010

Bela Lugosi as Dracula 1931 by Nice Dawg

I am a big fan of Count Dracula. But even so, I am not blind to his failings. Despite his great powers, patience and planning, Dracula, the resident bad ass of Bram Stoker’s novel, failed to prevail against the heroes and came to a grisly end. His embarrassing death aside, the story of Count Dracula can serve as a cautionary tale. Without further ado, let us see what the world’s most famous vampire could have done better.

The Mistakes of Count Dracula

1. <3trong>Overconfidence

Having lived for hundreds of years, Dracula had great faith in his powers. He was immortal, had great strength, and control over animals and humans to name a few. Given his great powers, it was easy for him to become complacent and arrogant. What could mere mortals do against him? Due to his overconfidence, he underestimated his enemies, which proved to be his undoing.

Confidence is healthy and necessary for success. If you do not believe you can succeed, your time and effort would have been in vain. But overconfidencekcan be fatal to your success. It makes you careless and sloppy in your planning and actions. On top of that, it also impairs your perception of reality. These factors can lead to your downfall. To have lasting success, you need to prepare for success and failure. This way, you will be able to act in harmony with the times and circumstances.

2. Inflexibility

Dracula was rigid in his feeding habits. He insisted on only drinking the blood of humans to live. He could not adapt and change with the times. As such, his feeding habits made him a threat and earned him many enemies who wanted his life. In the end, the Count’s stubborn refusal to try other forms of nourishment led to his downfall.

Vampires needed blood to survive. Even so, sensitive new age vampires like Edward Cullen managed well by drinking the blood of animals instead. No doubt, the drinking of animal blood was gruesome. But it was a lesser evil than drinking human blood. Because he could adapt, Edward did not make needless enemies.

You have to adapt to the times and circumstances to reach your goals. If a method is not yielding the results you want, change it. You cannot expect different results if you keep trying the same thing. But if you adapt like water, you will be able to face any challenge with less difficulty.

3. Failure to Diversify

Dracula had predictable feeding habits. He enjoyed feeding on the same victims. Making matters worse, he did not move on to a different source after he killed Lucy. Instead, he went after her friend Mina. By refusing to diversify his source of sustenance, the Count aroused suspicion towards him and his activities. He soon became easy prey for the heroes who learned about his tricks and whereabouts.

It is always important to diversify and vary your approach. Placing all your eggs in one basket or being a one trick pony is not prudent. Firstly, it makes you extremely vulnerable if something upsets your plans. Secondly, it creates undue stress for you because all your hopes and dreams depend on one thing. Lastly, it is easy for you to grow too used to your comfort zone to react quickly to changing circumstances. So practice diversification. This way, when one pillar of support fails, you will have other pillars to fall back on.

4. Losing Sight of the Big Picture

As the story progressed, Dracula lost sight of the big picture. His original aim for leaving his castle in the Carpathian Mountains was not to get involved in a tangle with the heroes. It was to turn the millions of people in London into his minions and expand his power. Instead, he allowed his obsession for Lucy and then Mina to cloud his judgment. When he learned that the heroes were moving against him, he lost all focus. He had to make this personal. He had to punish and torment the heroes for opposing his plans. To achieve this end, he returned to feed on Mina, slowly turning her into a vampire. But by doing so, he also gave Mina to ability to sense his whereabouts. This allowed the heroes to find him and destroy him.

It is easy to get distracted and to lose sight of the big picture on your journey to success. kYou might end up focusing too much on the details and obsessing over a minor problem. As you invest more of your time and effort, your ego becomes involved as well. Soon your obsession will make it hard for you to let go and move on. It is important to maintain your clarity in the midst of adversity. Only when you are objective and clear about your true goals will you be able to reach them in the end.

5. Selfish Actions and Motives

All the actions that Dracula took were for his personal gain alone. He only had his own interests at heart. He did not care about other people. His minions were e8pendable tools that he threatened or manipulated with empty promises. As a result, they failed him at the worst possible moments because he did not inspire or win their loyalty.

The rest of the people were food to him. He did not care about the consequences of his actions. He was only concerned about getting what he wanted at the expense of others. It came as no surprise that the many enemies he made worked hard to bring about his demise.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to better your lot in life. But to do so at the expense of others will only cause you problems in the future. When you do not have the interests of others at heart, they will not be inclined to help you either. In the worst-case scenario, they might even try to bring about your downfall. Whenever you need support and help to succeed, it is best to give sincerely and to receive with gratitude. Only then can you achieve the success you seek.

Bela Lugosi Dracula 1931 by Olde Tymes

Taking Action

Despite his great power, Dracula did not achieve success. The many mistakes and choices he made negated that possibility. Thus, power and ability alone does not mean you will succeed. Your success also depends on the choices you make, the actions you take and the relationships you have. If you can act in accord with the times and circumstances, you are likelier to succeed.

Are there any other mistakes of Dracula that I have failed to mention? Could Dracula have succeeded if he made better choices? What are your thoughts on this article? Do share your thoughts and comments below.

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  9 Responses to “Learning From the Mistakes of Count Dracula”

  1. Hi The Vizier,

    Being inflexible and failing to diversify can certainly be costly when dealing with life.

    Adapting to any new circumstances you find yourself is important. Otherwise, it’s frustrating to try our usual actions and find they no longer work.

    The key to creativity is flexibility – move with the times, or be left behind. It’s tough to leave what we’re accustomed to behind, but life is all about being ready to progress.
    Scott McIntyre recently posted..5 Side Effects of Settling for a Second Best LifeMy Profile

    • Hi Scott,

      You are spot on about the costs of inflexibility and failure to diversify. Unless we can adapt to the times and circumstances, we are bound to meet with setbacks and obstacles. The only way forward is to be ready to move with the times as you have rightly suggested. Once we have grown use to change, it becomes less difficult to flow with the times.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  2. Hi,
    I really enjoyed reading this post! I can definitely relate to #4. I get bogged down by tiny little details that I forget to look at the big picture. Also I find myself getting inflexible. I don’t want to be stuck in my ways. Life is about growing!! Thanks.

    P.S. Of all the vampires in our world I still think Bella Lugosi is the best:))
    Dandy recently posted..Emotional &amp intellectual benefits of readingMy Profile

    • Hi Dandy,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post! It is nice to find old school vampire lovers like you around haha! I share your sentiments about Bela. He was truly an awesome vampire. :)

      Since you like Bela, I suppose the next time you forget the big picture or get inflexible, you should remember the mistakes of Dracula and change. ;)

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  3. Irving,

    While I have read Bram Stoker and other Dracula novels, I have not seen or thought of him as a educational learning guy! Why not, reading your post, it sure made sense! What a creative and unique way to thinking and learning, I like it a lot.

    I think of myself a life long student so learning from fictional and real life people so it is perfect for it.
    Zengirl @ Heart and Mind recently posted..How To Be Happy – Quotes By Wise PeopleMy Profile

    • Hi Preeti,

      It would never have occurred to me to write about Dracula in this manner. I guess in a way I was inspired by reading some of the posts on your blog especially the ones on history. I love your creativity and how you approach the same old topics from different angles. This gave me the idea to try things from a different angle.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  4. Good idea for the post Irving… Who would say that the character of Count Dracula is a great example for learning about success… Let me to quickly express my thoughts about each point in this post.

    1. I agree, confidence is important. However, we must not allow to underestimate our enemies. Under the “enemies” I do not think about the human enemies. I think on our “internal enemies”, such as excessive anxiety, too little focus on the action or lack of persistence… If we underestimate these enemies, the outcome will NOT be what we hope.

    2. Inflexibility is definitely a weakness. We must have “mind like a water”, flexible and willing to adapt to virtually any situation.

    3. A good analogy with the pillars. I agree, more options => more chances = success.

    4. One of the most common state that can happen when we go towards our goal is to be distracted. We must accept that we are not perfect and that we can not afford to become obsessed over a minor problem…

    5. It is expected from a vampire not to care about the humans, but it is not expected of human being! Even so, many people want to take advantage of others for their own purposes. We are not vampires! We can work with people! Manipulating others is not the best way to live your life.

    • Hi Marko,

      I like how you relate enemies to internal enemies. If we are not aware of what goes on inside, it will only cause our undoing. It is the unseen enemies we should be more wary about.

      Regarding your excellent point on manipulation, manipulation only leads to short term benefits which are dubious at best. We can and should work with people in a genuine manner to further mutual interests. That is how success comes about.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  5. [...] Lessons don’t always come from the “good” guys.  Sometimes you can learn just as much, or even more by seeing the failures of the bad guys.  Check out what the Vizier has to say about the mistakes of Dracula. [...]

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