Outwitting the Devil - Napoleon Hill

Outwitting the Devil - Napoleon Hill

Imagine being able to interview the Devil. What could we learn from him? Discover, with Napoleon Hill, how to overcome this entity’s cleverness and discover its real potential.

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It all started with a manuscript hidden for over 70 years. What is its secret? Why was it hidden for so long?

In this book, Napoleon Hill presents the details of his exclusive “interview” with the Devil. Is it possible to learn anything from him?

Is there really a devil’s secret code? And better: how to break the secret code of the Devil’s mind?

But, don’t be afraid! According to Napoleon Hill, the book has a noble purpose: “to help humans discover their true potential”.

The book “Outwitting the Devil”

“Outwitting the Devil” was written by Napoleon Hill in 1938. In the baggage, one of the worst economic crises in the United States of America!

This is a masterpiece by the author who laid the foundation stone for all writers of motivational thinking and applied psychology.

Since it was published in the US, this book has been a source of inspiration and courage for millions of people around the world.

With 200 pages in the 2014 edition, published in Brazil by CDG Editora, the work is structured in twelve chapters and has a compact summary at the end, which recalls the fundamental points of the work and facilitates the reader’s life.

Who was Napoleon Hill?

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) was an entrepreneur and one of the greatest American authors in the field of personal fulfillment.

He has advised Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, US presidents, and interviewed more than five hundred successful people, including Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, developing teachings that still influence leaders in their pursuit of success.

It is Napoleon Hill’s concept of what Master Mind is and how to apply it, as well as a number of important works such as “Think and Grow Rich”.

Why should I read it?

Napoleon provides the right tools for those struggling to reach their personal goals, giving tips on attaining full achievement and success. In addition, this work is a must-read for anyone who likes books about personal development, applied psychology, and motivational thinking.

What are the key points of the book "Outwitting the Devil"?

Here are some ideas shared by Napoleon Hill that represent the central proposals of the work:

  • Your only limitation is the one you impose on your own mind;
  • The devil is negative energy and lives in the minds of people who are afraid of him;
  • A thought that becomes a habit, becomes an open window for evil to invade your thoughts;
  • The “Time Element” changes human relationships for better or worse, which can open a window to negative thoughts;
  • A habit that weakens willpower also opens doors to other negative habits;
  • The only real limitations are those imposed by ourselves or those we allow others to put in our minds;
  • Success is usually a very short step beyond the point of giving up.

According to Napoleon Hill himself, there are three interconnected things within his “Interview with the Devil”: “The Habit of Drifting”, “The Law of Hypnotic Rhythm” and “The Element of Time”. And it is about these three aspects that we will deal with in this book summary.

So, are you ready?

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[Book Summary] Outwitting the Devil - Napoleon Hill

The Habit of Drifting

Napoleon Hill uses a question and answers technique with the Devil. He reveals: The most powerful weapon the Devil possesses over humans consists of two secret principles of mind control.

The first is the principle of habit, which acts in people's minds. Operating on this principle, the Devil establishes the habit of drifting.

This is because when a person begins to drift themselves on any subject, they go straight to the gates of (what we humans call) Hell.

The author further states, based on the interview, that all people who think for themselves never drift, while those who do little or no thinking for themselves are drifters.

Thus Hill concludes that a drifter is the one who permits himself to be influenced and controlled by circumstances outside his mind.

Another characteristic of a typical drifter is letting “the Devil” occupy their mind and use their intellect instead of thinking for themselves. According to Napoleon Hill:

“A drifter is one who accepts whatever life throws in his way without making a protest or putting up a fight. He doesn’t know what he wants from life and spends all of his time getting just that.”

Ahead, there are other points related to drifting:

  • A drifter likes to give opinions (not their own but those of the Devil);
  • A drifter is too lazy to use their own brain;
  • Drifting begins in youth;
  • The devil induces drifting through schools and religions;
  • Drift yourself in one direction and soon you will be drifted in all segments.

The Law of Hypnotic Rhythm

Napoleon Hill asks the Devil what is the mysterious law by which he manipulates humans.

The Devil replies that it is not easy to describe the law in a simple way, but it may be called the “Hypnotic Rhythm”. It is the same law by which people can be hypnotized.

The Law of Hypnotic Rhythm is nothing but the last stage of habit! Thus, any physical thought or movement (good or bad) that is repeated more than once, becoming a habit, automatically becomes rhythm: the Hypnotic Rhythm.

The following are some points that should be highlighted:

  • If the time people spend fearing anything was reversed to faith, it would become a habit, and the Hypnotic Rhythm would give them everything they wanted;
  • Fear of criticism is the Devil’s only effective weapon against people;
  • All successful attempts to break the habit of drifting must be made. At what time? Before nature turns it into a permanent habit through the Hypnotic Rhythm;
  • The Law of Hypnotic Rhythm can also set positive thoughts of wealth and prosperity;
  • If your mind fears poverty, you are attracting poverty;
  • If your mind desires wealth, you are attracting wealth;
  • You are where you are and you are what you are because of your thoughts and actions;
  • Luck and Miracles do not exist: these terms are used to explain what people do not understand;
  • Non-drifters do not wait for the opportunity to make their way. They create opportunities that match their wants and needs.

According to Napoleon Hill, no one is smart enough to escape the influence of the Hypnotic Rhythm.

This law fixes the dominant thoughts (positive or negative) of non-drifters or drifters. On the other hand, it ends up being favorable to non-drifter people as it helps them convert their objectives, plans, and goals into physical replicas.

For all this, it is worth noting that the Law of Hypnotic Rhythm is not good or bad, but only fixes your thinking habits and makes them permanent. Only a drifter would want to escape the influence of the Hypnotic Rhythm.

The Time Element

The next principle highlighted by author Napoleon Hill is “The Time”, the fourth dimension.

According to Napoleon Hill, time is the very Law of Hypnotic Rhythm.

“The length of time required to maintain thinking habits depends mainly on the object and nature of the thoughts.”

Time divides all thinking habits into two classes: negative thoughts and positive thoughts.

Here, there are Napoleon Hill’s main considerations about Time:

  • Time penalizes people for all negative thoughts;
  • Time rewards people for all positive thoughts;
  • Positive thoughts are built by time and become permanent habits;
  • Young people have wisdom in elementary matters only;
  • Wisdom only comes with time;
  • Wisdom cannot be inherited and cannot be transferred;
  • Wisdom comes only to the non-drifters;
  • Time is a friend of those who train their minds to follow positive thought patterns;
  • Time is the enemy of those who drift themselves in negative thinking habits;
  • Accumulated knowledge is not wisdom;
  • It is not safe to have knowledge without wisdom;
  • Wisdom usually comes after age 40;
  • Adversity and failure are the universal languages nature uses to convey wisdom;
  • Time modifies and changes the values of knowledge;
  • Time changes all human relationships for better or worse.

Books about self-knowledge

Start With Why, written by Simon Sinek, is suitable for those who want to inspire others and succeed at work. In this journey, the author highlights the importance of knowing your “why”, that is, your purpose and your ultimate mission.

In Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins explains that generally, a successful person walks in a higher, more imposing way, showing self-esteem. One way to succeed, then, would be to replicate this behavior and begin to walk the same way, more imposingly.

Finally, in Life-Changing Secrets, according to the authors Napoleon Hill, Joseph Murphy and Dale Carnegie, there are several lessons about success, which is linked, according to the work, to a personal plan that must be executed using the powers of the human subconscious.

How can I apply the ideas from “Outwitting the Devil”?

You got to know the main aspects of this exclusive interview that Napoleon Hill had with the Devil. And you have also learned how to break the secret code of an evil mind. Now, how about a recap?

  • Stop limiting yourself now: your only limitation is the one that you impose on yourself;
  • If all goes wrong, keep persisting: success is about one step from the point of giving up;
  • Put fear and insecurity aside and move on. Reverse the time you spend fearing something into faith: it becomes a habit, so the Hypnotic Rhythm can give you everything you desire;
  • Do not be afraid of the Law of Hypnotic Rhythm. As you have seen, you can use this law in your life to fix positive thoughts of wealth and prosperity;
  • From now on, think only of positive things. After all, if your mind desires wealth, you are attracting wealth;
  • Make an assessment of your current situation, this will help you understand how you got here. In the end, you are where you are and you are what you are because of your thoughts and actions;
  • If you are in a bad moment, not everything is lost. Just change your thinking pattern and take it easy: Time rewards people for all positive thoughts;
  • Ignore negative thoughts and focus firmly on positive thoughts. They (positive thoughts) are built by Time and become permanent habits;
  • First and foremost, seek wisdom every day. As we have seen in this summary, it is not safe to have knowledge without wisdom; 
  • Practice resilience: adversity and failure are not your enemies. In your life, make good use of those universal languages that nature uses to convey wisdom.

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Outwitting the Devil - Napoleon Hill