Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill wrote this book in 1938, just after publication of his all-time bestseller, Think and Grow Rich. This powerful tale has never been published, considered too controversial by his family and friends.
Using his legendary ability to get to the root of human potential, Napoleon Hill digs deep to identify the greatest obstacles we face in reaching personal goals: fear, procrastination, anger, and jealousy, as tools of the Devil. These hidden methods of control can lead us to ruin, and Hill reveals the seven principles of good that will allow us to triumph over them and succeed.
Annotated and edited for a contemporary audience by Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Three Feet from Gold co-author Sharon Lechter, this book is profound, powerful, resonant, and rich with insight.
- “Most real failures are due to limitations which men set up in their own minds. If they had the courage to go one step further, they would discover their error.”
- “Learn this lesson, once and forever, that you will find happiness only by helping others to find it!”
- “From Christ on down to Edison, the men who have achieved the most have been those who met with the most stubborn forms of temporary defeat.”
- “My experience with prayer has taught me that so often all which results from prayer is a plan (if the prayer is answered at all), a plan that is suited for the attainment of the object of the prayer through natural and material media. The plan must be transmuted, through self-effort action. I know nothing about any form of prayer which can be induced to work favorably in a mind that is coloured, in the slightest degree, by fear.”
- “I used to go to prayer only when facing difficulty. Now I go to prayer before difficulty overtakes me, when possible, I now pray, not for more of this world’s goods and greater blessings, but to be worthy of that which I already have. I find that this plan is better than the old one.”
- “Do not confuse the word “belief” with the word “wish.” The two are not the same. Everyone is capable of “wishing” for financial, material, or spiritual advantages, but the element of faith is the only sure power by which a wish may be translated into a belief, and a belief into reality.”
- “I have for many years followed the habit of taking personal inventory of myself once a year, for the purpose of determining how many of my weaknesses I have bridged or eliminated, and to ascertain what progress, if any, I had made during the year.”
- “Every adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.”
- “‘The Devil’ to Napoleon Hill: I plant these fears in the minds of people so deftly that they believe them to be their own creation. I accomplish this end by making people believe I am standing just beyond the entrance gate of the next life, waiting to claim them after death for eternal punishment. Of course I cannot punish anyone, except in that person’s only mind, through some form of fear – but fear of the thing which does not exist is just as useful to me as fear of that which does exist. All forms of fear extend the space I occupying the human mind.”
- “‘The Devil’ to Napoleon Hill: My opponent controls all the positive forces of the world, such as love, faith, hope, and optimism. My opponent also controls the positive factors of all natural law throughout the universe, the forces which keep the earth and the planets and all the stars balanced in their own courses, but these forces are meek in comparison with those which operate in the human mind under my control.”
- “‘The Devil’ to Napoleon Hill: You may not know it, but cigarettes break down the power of persistence; they destroy the power of endurance; they destroy the ability to concentrate; they deaden and undermine the imaginative faculty, and help in other ways to keep people from using their minds most effectively.”
- “‘The Devil’ to Napoleon Hill: A drifter is one who permits himself to be influenced and controlled by circumstances outside of his own mind. He would rather let me occupy his mind and do his thinking than go to the trouble of thinking for himself. A drifter is one who accepts whatever life throws in his way without making a protest for putting up a fight. He doesn’t know what he wants from life spends all his time getting just that. I drifter has lots of opinions, but they are not his own. Most of them are supplied by me. A drifter is one who is too lazy mentally to use his own brain. That is the reason I can take control of people’s thinking and plant my own ideas in their minds.”
- “The mind is nothing more than the sum total of one’s habits!”
- “‘The Devil’ to Napoleon Hill: One of my favorite tricks is to coordinate the efforts of parents and religious instructors so they work together in helping me to destroy the children’s power to think for themselves. I use many religious instructors to undermine the courage and power of independent thought of children, by teaching them to fear me; but I use parents to aid the religious leaders in this great work of mine.”
- “‘The Devil’ to Napoleon Hill: I cause married people to bicker and nag one another over money matters. I cause them to quarrel over the bringing up of the children. I engage them in unpleasant controversies over their intimate relationships and in disagreements over friends and social activities. I keep them so busy finding fault with one another that they never have time to do anything else long enough to break the habit of drifting.”
- “‘The Devil’ to Napoleon Hill: Take a look at those who acquire a large amount of money quickly, without time to get wisdom along with it, and observe how they use it. Why, do you suppose, rich men’s sons seldom equal the achievements of their fathers? I’ll tell you why. It is because they have been deprived of the self-discipline which comes from being forced to work. Look into the records of moving picture stars or athletes who suddenly find themselves in possession of big money and hero worship and praise from the public. Observe how quickly I move in and take them over in many cases, mainly through sex, gambling, food, and liquor. With these I catch and control the biggest and the best of people as soon as they get their hands on big money.”
- “‘The Devil’ to Napoleon Hill: The best of plans sometimes misfire, but the person who moves with definiteness recognizes the difference between temporary defeat and failure. When plans fail he substitutes others but he does not change his purpose. He perseveres. Eventually he finds the plan that succeeds.”
- “‘The Devil’ to Napoleon Hill: One’s intimate associates should be chosen with as much care as one chooses the food with which he feeds his body, with the object always of associating with people whose dominating thoughts are positive, friendly, and harmonious.”
- “From my experience in having analyzed the problems of more than 5,000 families, I know, definitely, that the majority of married people who get out of harmony with each other do so because of the accumulation of a great number of little circumstances in their married relationship which could have been cleared up and disposed of as they arose if there had been a definite policy to do so. They do not live their married life with definiteness of purpose.”
- “I searched for the philosophers lodestone with which failure may be converted into success, only to learn that both success and failure are the results of day-to-day evolutionary forces through which dominating thoughts are pieced together bit by bit and woven into the things we want or the things we do not want, according to the nature of those thoughts.”