10 Lessons I’ve Learned From Outwitting The Devil by Napoleon Hill

Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon reveals the secrets to a happy and successful life by describing what is holding us back and making us depressed, overweight and addicted to destructive habits.
Although the book was written more than 70 years ago, the content inside is still true nowadays and for many years to come.

Below are some lessons I’ve learned from the book Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon.


“Through the operation of the law of compensation, everyone reaps that which he sows. Plans based on unjust or immoral motives may bring temporary success, but enduring success must take into consideration the fourth dimension, time.

Time is the enemy of immorality and injustice. It is the friend of justice and morality. Failure to recognize this fact has been responsible for the crime wave among the youths of the world.

The youthful, inexperienced mind is apt to mistake temporary success for permanency. The youth often makes the mistake of coveting the temporary gains of immoral, unjust plans, but neglects to look ahead and observe the penalties which follow as definitely as night follows day.”
Outwitting the devil- Napoleon Hill

"Duty" is one of the most abused and misunderstood words in existence. The first duty of every human being is to himself. Every person owes himself the duty of finding how to live a full and happy life. Beyond this, if one has time and energy not needed in the fulfillment of his own desires, one may assume responsibility for helping others.

Outwitting the devil- Napoleon Hill

The majority of people who pray go to prayer only after everything else fails them. Naturally, they go with their minds filled with fear that the prayers will not be answered. Well, their fears are realized.

The person who goes to prayer with definiteness of purpose and faith in the attainment of that purpose puts into motion the laws of nature which transmute one's dominating desires into their physical equivalent. That is all there is to prayer.

People who whine and beg God to assume responsibility for all their troubles and provide them with all the necessities and luxuries of life are too lazy to create what they want and translate it into existence through the power of their own minds.

Outwitting the devil- Napoleon Hill

Nature's law is, "Know what you want, adapt yourself to my laws, and you shall have it."

Outwitting the devil- Napoleon Hill

What is faith?
It is a state of mind wherein one recognizes and uses the power of positive thought as a medium by which one contacts and draws upon the universal store of Infinite Intelligence at will.

In other words, faith is the absence of all forms of negative thought.

Outwitting the devil- Napoleon Hill

Failure is a man-made circumstance. It is never real until it has been accepted by man as permanent. Stating it another way, failure is a state of mind; therefore, it is something an individual can control until he neglects to exercise this privilege.

Outwitting the devil- Napoleon Hill

Failure brings a climax in which one has the privilege of clearing his mind of fear and making a new start in another direction. Failure proves conclusively that something is wrong with one's aims or the plans by which the object of these aims is sought. Failure is the dead-end of the habit-path one has been following, and when it is reached it forces one to leave that path and take up another, thereby creating a new rhythm.

But failure does more than this. It gives an individual an opportunity to test himself wherein he may learn how much will power he possesses. Failure also forces people to learn many truths they would never discover without it. Failure often leads an individual to an understanding of the power of self-discipline

Outwitting the devil- Napoleon Hill

Marriage succeeds or fails entirely because of the manner in which the participants relate themselves to one another. Proper relationship in marriage begins with a proper motive for the marriage. Most marriages do not bring happiness because the contracting parties neither understand, nor attempt to understand, the law of hypnotic rhythm, through the operation of which every word they speak, every act in which they engage, and every motive by which they are inspired to deal with each other is picked up and woven into a web that entangles them in controversial misery or gives to them the wings of freedom through which they soar above all forms of unhappiness.

Outwitting the devil- Napoleon Hill

What, then, is an improper relationship?

Any relationship between people which damages anyone or brings any form of misery or unhappiness to any of the individuals.

How can improper relationships be corrected?

By change of mind of the person causing the improper relationship, or by changing the persons to the relationship. Some minds harmonize naturally while others just as naturally clash. Successful human relationships, to endure as such, must be formed of minds that naturally harmonize, quite aside from the question of having common interests as a means of bringing them into harmony.

Outwitting the devil- Napoleon Hill

Only the strong survive. No one can be strong without removing himself from all influences which develop negative thought-habits. Negative thought-habits result in the loss of the privilege of self-determination no matter what or who may cause those habits. Positive thought-habits may be controlled by the individual and made to serve his aims and purposes. Negative thought-habits control the individual and deprive him of the privilege of self-determination.

Outwitting the devil- Napoleon Hill

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