Once I had turned my health around and I had cured myself of asthma, the next thing that was on my agenda was to improve my finances. That is when I read Napoleon Hill’s book; Think and Grow Rich. I still read it every day after being inspired to do so by Bob Proctor (he has read it every day for 50+years). The message of the book is based on reprogramming yourself for success.
I was hooked on Hill’s style and insights and I wanted to learn more from him so I started searching for other book by him. What II found was a book called Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success. On further inspection, I found that Hill originally wrote this book in 1938 but it was so filled with controversy that members of his family and his advisory team convinced Hill to keep it under Lock and Key. The book was finally published in 2011 after being annotated by Sharon Lechter. Sharon Lechter is the co-author of Three Feet from Gold and co-author of one of the best selling personal finance books of all time, Rich Dad Poor Dad.
In Outwitting the Devil, Hill talks about faith, prayer and success in his unique style and then he proceeds to share the discussions that he had with ‘The Devil’. When describing these discussions Hill outlines how the Devil gains control of humans so as to lock them into lives filled with heartache, misery and repeated failure. I have heard of a lot of people being put off this book because they “aren’t religious”. I think this is missing the point because whether you are religious or non-religious there is so much wisdom and inspiration to be gained from the messages in this book.
An example of this is when the Devil announces to Hill, “I hate the United States as only the Devil can hate. The cause was born on July 4, 1776, when fifty-six men signed a document which destroyed my chances of controlling the nation.” The Devil then explains his quest to destroy the United States. Considering that Hill wrote this book more than seventy years ago, this is one of many moments where the Devil’s message is extremely relevant today.
The Devil is open and up front with Hill in admitting that he can’t control those people that think for themselves. He says that he cannot control people that have discovered their own mind and consciously control it.
Whether you believe in the Devil or not, the constant relevance and almost ‘spooky’ resemblance to reality that Hill describes in
his conversations with the Devil are ever present. The overarching message is to be in control of your mind or run the risk of negative habits, failure and depression (i.e. the work of the devil) will set in.
The annotations provided by Sharon Lechter helps modern readers interpret the book as well as highlight the almost prophetic
genius of Napoleon Hill. For example, Lechter describes how Hill was advanced in his thinking that his predictions surrounding medicine, sociological phenomena and addictions that they have become a reality.
Scientific thinking would of course lead us to believe that Napoleon Hill dreamt this experience or was hallucinating this ‘Interview with the Devil’. However, there are no accidents in this Universe and Hill’s message is incredibly important whatever you believe. I would strongly recommend reading Outwitting the Devil if you are passionate about improving yourself and gaining control of your own mind.