Book Report: Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill
I would like to share some of my thoughts on a book that I just read called, Outwitting the Devil, which was written in 1938 by Napoleon Hill. He was the author of the all-time best selling classic, Think and Grow Rich. Napoleon Hill was born in 1883 and died in 1970, yet his latest book, Outwitting the Devil, has just been published this year.
I have been a Napoleon Hill fan for many years. His writings have given me a solid and inspirational foundation that has been a source of motivation and encouragement in my life during good times and bad.
This book was written in 1938, during the Great Depression. That makes this book especially important today as we struggle with our current economic problems. A lot of what he has written at that time is both significant and relevant at this particular time in our history.
I believe that the wisdom found in the pages of Hill's book can help each of you to achieve the levels of success you know in your hearts' that you are capable of achieving.
The key premise of the book is that the "devil" resides in each of us and we must make the conscious and deliberate decision to overcome "his" grasp and take the steps necessary to accomplish our goals.
Hill contends that the “devil” is our inner talk, our thought patters, belief systems and our inner resistance to what we want to achieve in life.
Here are some of the key points and lessons from the book:
- Habits can work both in your favor and against you. Success can be achieved by developing the habits that best serve your needs. Habits consist of both actions and thoughts.
- Successful people are always engaged in doing something definite, through a well thought out plan.
- Successful people have the capacity to overcome failure without becoming discouraged. People who succeed do not let setbacks prevent them from continuing their quest to achieve their goals, even if they must alter their plan or course of action to do so.
Throughout the book, Hill makes other observations about how to succeed in life. They include:
- "Do your own thinking on all occasions."
- "Decide definitely what you want from life; then create a plan for attaining it and be willing to sacrifice everything else, if necessary, rather than accept permanent defeat."
- "Analyze temporary defeat...and extract from it the seed of an equivalent advantage."
- "Be willing to render useful service equivalent to the value of all material things you demand of life, and render the service first."
- "Recognize that your greatest asset is time..."
- "Your dominating thoughts attract, through a definite law of nature, by the shortest and most convenient route, their physical counterpart."
Hill concludes the book by discussing seven additional principles to attain spiritual, mental, and physical freedom. Leading the list is, Definiteness of Purpose.
I'd like to conclude by listing some of my favorite quotes from the book which include:
- "Definiteness of purpose plus definiteness of plan by which the purpose is to be achieved generally succeeds, no matter how weak the plan may be."
- "Faith is definiteness of purpose backed by belief in the attainment of the object of that purpose."
- "The only dependable power available to any human being...The power of their own thoughts. The only power they can control and may rely upon."
- "Failure often serves as a blessing in disguise...it frees the mind for a fresh start."
- "Nature will not tolerate idleness or vacuums of any sort. All space must be and is filled with something...When the individual does not use the brain for the expression of positive, creative thoughts; nature fills the vacuum by forcing the brain to act upon negative thoughts."
Good luck on your journey to success.