7 Principles from Napoleon Hill that Apply to our Current World

“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Napoleon Hill wrote that back in 1937 — long before Anthony Robbins and Zig Ziglar had entered the motivational stage.

His most famous work of self-empowerment, Think and Grow Rich, is one of the best-selling books of all time no matter where you live.

Hill was such a revolutionary thinker for his time and he influenced the most powerful and richest men in America. Henry Ford, Andrew Carnagie, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and John D. Rockefeller all sat down with Napoleon Hill as he studied how the world tycoons thought and achieved success.

Napoleon Hill’s family has now published a new manuscript that Hill wrote while he was alive.

Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success, contains annotations by Sharon Lechter, co-author of another best-seller Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

A Conversation with the Devil

In Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success, Hill has a conversation with “the devil.” Whether or not this devil is real or imagined is up to the readers to decide, but based on their conversation, Hill discovers 7 principals that lead to freedom and success.

1) Understand the Power of Purpose

In the first principle, the devil tells Hill anyone who understands the power of purpose can get whatever he or she wants out of life.

“The privilege of definiteness can be maintained only by adopting it as a policy by which one if guided in all the affairs of life,” Hill writes. “Any human being who can be definite in his aims and plans can make life hand over whatever is wanted.”

2) Mast Yourself 

Most people don’t take control over their emotional appetites, but Hill says anyone who wants to achieve freedom and success must master himself.

Hill writes the three most destructive “appetites” people must conquer are: 1) the desire for food, 2) the desire for expression of sex, 3) the desire to express loosely organized opinions.

“When a man becomes master of these three appetites, he has developed enough self-discipline to conquer easily those of lesser importance,” he writes in the book.

3) Learn from Adversity 

The third principle is self-explanatory.

Hill says “few people know that every adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage…If they know the difference between temporary defeat and failure, they would not quit when they meet with opposition from life.”

In simple words, live your life without regrets and learn from every mistake.

4) Hang around Positive People

Everyone should surround themselves with positive people or else they risk picking up negative habits.

With this principle, Hill writes that the environment consists of all the mental, spiritual and physical forces which affect and influence human beings.

As part of a conversation with the devil, Hill says “the most important part of one’s environment is that created by his association with others. All people absorb and take over, either consciously or unconsciously, the thought-habits of those with whom they associate closely.”

5) Focus Time on Positive Thoughts

Hill divides all thought-habits into two classes – negative and positive thoughts.

He says time penalizes the individual for all negative thoughts and rewards him for all positive thoughts. Hill cites this as a according to the nature and purpose of the thoughts. So focus your time on positive thoughts.

6) Move with Harmony 

Realize that the world has order and if you accept it and move within its harmony, you can achieve success. But if you reject harmony, you will fall out of the world’s order, making it harder to succeed.

Hill is more profound in the book:

“Throughout nature one may find evidences that all natural law moves in an orderly manner, through the law of harmony. Through the operation of this law nature forces everything within the range of a given environment to become harmoniously related. Understand this truth and you will catch a new and a more intriguing vision of the power of environment. You will understand why association with negative minds is fatal to those seeking self-determination.”

7) Exhibit Caution

Hill says this principle is critical to remember.

“Next to the habit of drifting, the most dangerous human trait is the lack of caution,” he writes. People drift into dangerous situations because they act without thinking. So use your mind before you act on any irrational thoughts.

What does one of the world’s richest man say about happiness? Click here to read what billionaire George Soros says about the key to being happy.

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