Tony Note: I mentioned this book several times a couple of weeks ago at the recent 8th Annual Mind Capture Bootcamp and felt it was worth revisiting. I share a key premise from this incredible book and my thoughts as to its importance. I originally posted this article in 2017, but found it to be just as relevant today as when I first wrote it.
This Book is So Far Ahead of its Time
Yes, the book was originally written in 1938. The family and the Foundation kept it hidden for over 70-years. This is a book that I’m adamant that EVERY person should read. It’s not for the faint of heart. It does force one to think. To ask tough questions. To seek out a better life. To put fear and doubt on the defense. To inspire one to live a much more fulfilling life.
In the 2011 release of Napoleon Hill’s book, Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success, he discusses at length the concept of drifting. Here’s Hill’s definition taken from page 223:
“Drifting is nothing but a negative state of mind, a state of mind conspicuous by its emptiness of purpose.”
In the main pages of the book, Hill acts out a courtroom scene in which he puts the devil on trial and forces him to reveal why so many people never fully achieve their potential and so easily give up on their goals and dreams. The dialogue is not only startling, but also enlightening on many fronts. Hill uses specific questions in his exchange to have the devil reveal many of the methods such as fear, doubt, negativity, and propaganda are cleverly positioned, mixed together, and reinforced by many ‘sacred cows’ at all levels of society to confuse and distract people away from their true calling.
His remedy is to suggest that each of us must deliberately and daily set ourselves up to be around positive information, people, ideas and surroundings to combat the negativity swirling around us within the media, government, and most other ‘well established’ organizations. With that premise in mind, it’s easy to see why Hill’s family had deep reservations to ever release the book and why it was hidden for 72-years!
Here’s a quick list of the seven principles Hill describes in Outwitting the Devil that people can study and learn from to achieve greater happiness within their own lives.
1.) Definiteness of purpose
2.) Mastery over self
3.) Learning from adversity
4.) Controlling environmental influences (associations)
5.) Time (giving permanency to positive, rather than negative thought-habits and developing wisdom)
6.) Harmony (acting with definiteness of purpose to become the dominating influence in your own mental, spiritual, and physical environment)
7.) Caution (thinking through your plan before you act)
I strongly urge you to pick up a copy of this book as much of the advice Hill advocates is super relevant and designed to uplift. It still remains one of my Top 10 favorite books of all-time.