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Outwitting the Devil

The Secret to Freedom and Success

By Napoleon Hill
9-minute read
Audio available
Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill

Originally written in 1938, Napoleon Hill’s Outwitting the Devil (2011) remained an unpublished manuscript for over seventy years. Edited and annotated by Sharon Lechter, who contextualizes the content for contemporary readers, Hill’s book is a compendium of advice on how to succeed in life. Readers now have full access to Hill’s personal beliefs on the forces that are holding us back from leading a successful life and the principles that will enable us to overcome those forces.

  • Entrepreneurs looking for the secret to success
  • Anyone who wishes to conquer their fears
  • Readers interested in the lasting wisdom of a 70-year-old self-help book

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) was an American entrepreneur and author. Among the first to popularize the modern self-help genre, he is most famous for Think and Grow Rich (1937), the product of over 20 years of research and ranks among the top ten best-selling self-help books of all time.

Sharon Lechter is an American businesswoman and leader dedicated to improving the financial education of teens and young adults. She’s a spokesperson for the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission; the founder of the financial education organization, Pay Your Family First; and a creator of Thrive Time for Teens, an award-winning financial board game.

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Outwitting the Devil

The Secret to Freedom and Success

By Napoleon Hill
  • Read in 9 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 5 key ideas
Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill
Synopsis

Originally written in 1938, Napoleon Hill’s Outwitting the Devil (2011) remained an unpublished manuscript for over seventy years. Edited and annotated by Sharon Lechter, who contextualizes the content for contemporary readers, Hill’s book is a compendium of advice on how to succeed in life. Readers now have full access to Hill’s personal beliefs on the forces that are holding us back from leading a successful life and the principles that will enable us to overcome those forces.

Key idea 1 of 5

Being led by fear rather than faith is a primary cause of failure.

Is there a dream you’ve held onto for years but have been afraid to pursue? There probably is, since, in the author’s estimation, 98 percent of us are letting our minds be controlled by fear. As a result, we tend to drift through life without thinking for ourselves or following our own desires.

The fear that causes us to drift is instilled early on. First, there are the churches that teach children to beware of the insidious “Devil.” Then there are the schools that offer very little preparation for children to be individuals in the real world, and focus instead on having students memorize endless facts and figures.

The author, Napoleon Hill, learned firsthand about this overwhelming fear and lack of individuality while working toward his life goal: creating the first philosophy of individual achievement.

For years, he’d interviewed people about their successes and failures, but his notes were starting to become aimless, and they certainly didn’t add up to a concrete philosophy. He was stuck and his mind was fogged with fear and indecision.

Then, one day, he had an epiphany. While out walking and taking in some much-needed fresh air, he was suddenly confronted by a voice that felt like his “other self” talking to him. The voice was commanding, and it told Hill that he could finish his manuscript on the philosophy of individual achievement; all he had to do was stop giving in to fear and doubt.

Hill came to believe that this voice represented something we all possess. He calls it Infinite Intelligence – an abundance of faith and positive energy that we can always tap into as long as we keep doubt, fear and worry from our mind.

Thanks to this voice, Hill was able to push his fear aside, put in the necessary work and finish his book. As a result, Hill became the first great writer of the self-help genre, and his work continues to be read worldwide.

In other words, Hill became a non-drifter, which is someone who knows that the key to success is becoming the master of your own mind.

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