AMY DRAKE, Playwright

Napoleon Hill’s Other Book

January 18, 2022

Did you know that Napoleon Hill wrote a sequel to Think and Grow Rich? In the book, Outwitting the Devil, Hill opens up about his own struggles and challenges living up to the principles for success outlined in Think and Grow Rich. At the instigation of Andrew Carnegie, Hill interviewed over 500 successful businessmen and thousands of people who drifted through life. Hill also takes a deeper dive into the mechanics of how to become successful. A commonality among the successful businessmen in his study was having faith in the higher power of Infinite Intelligence and tapping into its wisdom.

Outwitting the Devil was suppressed for over 70 years by Hill’s family who were reluctant to publish Hill’s controversial opinions on the educational system in the U.S. and religion as taught to children, believing that both inhibited freedom of thought and quashed creativity in favor of accepting conventional thinking. Thus, creating a society of those who dare not think for themselves for fear of ridicule or punishment. Hill couches his ideas as a conversation with the Devil in an interview format. It was written in 1938, on the heels of the Great Depression in which millions of lives were adversely affected by the economy. Hill’s family allowed the publication in 2011, annotated by Sharon Lechter, as the U.S. was still reeling from the economic crisis of 2008. Now, as we are still coping with the worldwide economic crisis due to waves of the pandemic Hill’s books are as timely as ever to guide us in identifying future opportunities for success in the maelstrom of Covid and its variants. Hill data indicates that when we identify our life’s purpose and work toward that end, opportunities to advance will be presented to us. Then, we must take action.

In Outwitting the Devil, Hill divides his interviewees into two categories — drifters who accept whatever any type of work or people into their lives without a plan or discernment and non-drifters who live purposeful lives to attain their goals of health, wealth, and happiness. Non-drifters achieve success through self-mastery over what they think, what they say, what they consume, and whom they choose as friends, colleagues, and as a spouse. Non-drifters surround themselves with positive thinkers who harmoniously share their goals thereby creating a Master Mind, a group of two or more whose collective energy propels each member to achieve a positive outcome.

If you have read books on metaphysics, much of this advice will be familiar to you. New Age writers borrow freely from Hill’s data and from lectures and books written by his contemporaries. There was a great deal of overlap in the methods of metaphysical writers and speakers of Hill’s era who were proponents of the Law of Attraction. Many of these writers’ books are finding a resurgence today because those who take Hill’s research in earnest and apply its principles to their own live are finding the success they are seek or, at least, lead more fulfilling lives. Hill’s mind-over-matter and common-sense approach to leading a purposeful life can be applied to any profession, career, or field of endeavor. As we await the end of the pandemic, now is an excellent time to read Hill’s motivational books on planning and planting the seeds for future success.

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