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What I Am Reading: Outwitting The Devil

by John on 01/17/2015

Outwitting The Devil is written by Napoleon Hill.

Who should read this book:

  • budding entrepreneurs or independent reps
  • people who feel like failures in the business world
  • people hungry for self-help advice

If you are someone who read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, this is a great follow up. This book has just been released because Hill’s wife felt it would be too shocking.

The basis of the book is his imaginary dialogue with the devil. To some folks it might seem silly. But in Think and Grow Rich, Hill advocates mastermind sessions where you assemble people you trust to solve problems. But Hill pushes the use of imagination by bringing in historical figures who are dead into mastermind. For instance, he uses Abraham Lincoln. So for Hill enthusiasts, devil talking isn’t too far-fetched. For me, it was a bit hokey but it worked.

The devil has some good ideas that pertain to today despite being written in 1938. Hill is clairvoyant about smoking, over-eating, and other addictions that we’ve only started paying attention to in the past few decades — thanks to science.

The book is not political. But people on the left and the right will find many nuggets to use or abuse. For example, Hill chastises people who ignore science. But he’ll is also a proponent of creating wealth for individuals.

The overriding message of this book is stop being a drifter. A drifter is someone who is not focused. Drifters meander in life and fail at almost everything they do.

He also touches on a theme that I mention a lot too — victimhood. I believe, and Hill and the devil seem to concur, that too many of us have a tendency to all played the victim role. You can see it in Muslim terrorists today. Victimhood becomes a ridiculous tool for violence. But we see the media and politicians using victimhood too to make money and provide reason for existence.

I listened to Outwitting The Devil on audio tape in less than 4 hours while working out and driving.

Thanks to old friend Scott McKay for alerting me to this book. Scott is working on a film version of the book too. More on that later.

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