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The Secret to Freedom and Success



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" FEAR is the tool of a man-made devil.
Self-confident faith in one's self is both the
man-made weapon which defeats this devil
and the man-made tool which builds a
triumphant life. And it is more than that.
It is a link to the irresistible forces of the
universe which stand behind a man who
does not believe in failure and defeat as being
anything but temporary experiences."

OUTWITTING THE DEVIL is the most profound book I have ever read.
First, I was incredibly honored when Don Green, CEO of
the Napoleon Hill Foundation, trusted me enough to ask me
to become involved in this project. And then I read the manuscript!
I couldn't sleep for a week.
Written on a manual typewriter in 1938 by the Master himself,
Napoleon Hill, this manuscript had been locked away and
hidden by Hill's family for seventy-two years. Why? Because
they were frightened by the response it would invoke. Hill's
courage in revealing the Devil's work around each of us every
day, in our churches, our schools, and our politics, threatened
the very core of society as it was known at the time.
When asked why the family had hidden the manuscript,
Don Green recites the following inside story:
It was the objections of Hill's wife, Annie Lou. She was
secretary to Dr. William Plumer Jacobs, president of
Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. Jacobs was
also owner of Jacobs Press and a public counselor to a group
of South Carolina textile firms. Jacobs hired Hill to come to
Clinton to work for him, and Annie Lou did not want the
book published because of the role of the Devil. She feared
the response ftom organized religion (and maybe for Hill's
job). Even though Hill died in 1970, Annie Lou did not
die until 1984. Upon Annie Lou's death, the manuscript
came into the possession of Dr. Charlie Johnson, then
the president of the Napoleon Hill Foundation. Charlie
was the nephew of Annie Lou Hill. Charlie's wife, Frankie,
knew and shared Annie Lou's feelings. Frankie told Charlie
that she did not want the article published while she was
alive either. Charlie's wife passed away a couple of years ago
and Charlie finally gave me the manuscript, bound in red
leather and embossed with the letters Outwitting the Devil in
gold on the cover. The Foundation believes the manuscript
has a powerful message that needs to be shared.
Mter speaking with Don, I was overcome with a powerful
realization. This book, even though written in 1938, was actually
meant to be published today ... meant to rock our society
today! It was intended to provide answers during this uncertain
economic and spiritual time. It provides the keys for each
of us to outwit the Devil in our own lives. It shows us how
to chart a course for success and to add value to the world
around us through the process.
Just as Think and Grow Rich helped us recover and succeed
after the Great Depression, Outwitting the Devil was written to
help each of us recover and succeed today!
You may ask if Hill believes his conversation with the Devil
was real, or was it merely imaginary? The choice is yours. But
I also asked Don Green about Hill's thoughts in his other
writings to see if we could get another look inside Hill's head.
Don's response was as follows:
The use of imaginary conversations was not new to Hill. In
1953, Hill published How to Raise Your Own Salary, which
was written as a conversation between Hill and Carnegie.
Hill had actually interviewed Carnegie in 1908 and
Carnegie died in 1919, well before its publication.
This was not the first time Hill used imaginary meetings
to convey what he was writing about. In Think and
Grow Rich, Hill, writing about the sixth sense, wrote about
his imaginary council meeting with the nine men whose
lifeworks had been the most impressive to Hill. These nine
imaginary council members were Emerson, Paine, Edison,
Darwin, Lincoln, Burbank, Napoleon, Ford, and Carnegie.
Hill wrote in Think and Grow Rich that during his meetings
with his "Invisible Counselors" he found his mind
most receptive to ideas, thoughts, and knowledge that
reached him during these times when his sixth sense was activated.
Outwitting the Devil was by no means his first time to
write about religion. In fact, after he published Law of
Success in 1928, he received letters of criticism about his
stance on schools and religion. In Think and Grow Rich, in
the chapter titled "The Six Ghosts of Fear," Hill wrote that
fear of death, in the majority of cases, could be charged to
religious fanaticism. Hill had much to say about religious
leaders in this section of his classic best seller.
Hill had much to say about religion even in his Hill's
Golden Rule Magazine. He wrote an article, "A Suggestion to
Ministers of the Gospel," in which he admonished church
leaders to teach their followers to practice harmony among each other.
So the choice is yours. Did Hill actually talk to the Devil or
is this a parable created to reach and touch your heart? Hill's
unique style will pull you in and move you in ways you never
thought possible. The words in this book are Hill's own. Since
the original manuscript was quite lengthy, I edited with careful
precision to preserve the profound impact of his message.
I have kept his original language in place even when modern
grammar may have dictated adjustments.
In an effort to highlight certain issues, bring clarity to his
words, and show how his predictions have become realities, I
have added my thoughts throughout the manuscript in a different
type style. This allows you to choose to read the book
either with my comments or without.
Please enjoy this powerful book and share it with your
friends and family. The power in Hill's words can and will
change your life.

DR. NAPOLEON HILL is arguably the most famous self-help
action writer, thinker, evocateur, and best-selling author of all
time. We ask that you refer quickly to the actual interview with
the Devil. You will thus get the impact in your life of who the
Devil really is and what he does to 98 percent ofliving beings,
according to the Devil himself
As a thought stimulator, Hill quickly starts the book's
journey, taking us through his life and what was meaningful
and life-changing to him. Hill learned the greatest and most
useful and instantly helpful success principles on the planet,
but he did not know how to use and easily apply them. We predict
that this is true for many people still today. It is easy to
say the words and sometimes even think the thoughts. It takes
a profound and lasting decision to actually live by the principles
daily in every way. Sharon Lechter illuminates what Hill's
words mean when transported into today's dollars, thinking,
and understanding.
Dr. Hill's goal was to communicate clearly a philosophy
and practice of individual achievement that would stimulate
lasting happiness. His inner knower guided him to find his
own life's rainbow.
You are being tested now in the toughest times imaginable,
just as Hill was during the Depression. He felt, acted,
and became depressed and despondent, an attitude that was
deleterious to his very beingness, just as it is to you and your
wellness. Reading this inspiring book can help you snap out of
your lethargy and negative-mindedness and get you on a new
and more glorious path to an ever brighter, better, and more
rewarding future.
Like Hill, you are here to master your fears and not let
them master you, to live passionately and with purpose, to
decide what you want to be, do, and have, and to make it so.
As you rediscover the marvelous and magical discoveries of
Dr. Hill, you will know and believe that you can match them
and surpass them if you want to, because you are unlimited.
Hill correctly says, "Your only limitations are self-imposed."
This book will help you be aware that you can achieve your
breakthroughs using all that he learned by interviewing the
five hundred greatest living achievers.
You will discover whether the Devil he interviews is real
or imaginary, much like the Devil that you may personally be
dealing with in your life and experience.
MARK VICTOR HANSEN is co-creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling
series Chicken Soup for The Sou[® and co-author of Cracking the
Millionaire Code, The One Minute Millionaire, and Cash in a Flash.

Table of Contents

Note to Readers by Sharon Lechter ................................................. Xl
Foreword by Mark Victor Hansen ....................................... . . .. xv
Chapter 1 My First Meeting with Andrew Carnegie ................ 1
Chapter 2 A New World Is Revealed to Me .... ............. 31
Chapter 3 A Strange Interview with the Devil. ...... 51
Chapter 4 Drifting with the Devil ...................... . . .. 71
Chapter5 The Confession Continues ........................................... 97
Chapter 6 Hypnotic Rhythm .. Seeds of Fear .................... 119
Chapter 7 ..................................................... 139
Chapter 8 Definiteness of Purpose. . ..................................... 147
Chapter 9 Education and Religion .............................................. 159
Chapter 10 Self-Discipline ............................................................. 185
Chapter 11 Learning from Adversity. . .................................... 201
Chapter 12 Environment, Time, Harmony, and Caution .. 219
Summary....................... .................... .................. 243
Afterword by Michael Bernard Beckwith ............................................ 252
In Reflection by Sharon Lechter .................................................... 255
Acknowledgments ............................................................................ 259
About the Authors .............................................................................. 260
Index ....................................... 262
About The Napoleon Hill Foundation ................................... 268
Share Your Stories .............................................................................. 269


Praise/or Napoleon Hill's
"Outwitting the Devil proves once again that the messages and philosophies
of Napoleon Hill are timeless. This book contains insights on
how to break free of habits and attitudes that prevent success and
will ultimately lead to happiness and prosperity. If you want to break
through your own roadblocks, read this book!"
- T. HARV EKER, author of#l New York Times best seller
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
"If you want to own your life, you have to own your money. In
Outwitting the Devil) Napoleon Hill shares what may be holding you
back in your financial life and charts the course for you to take
control and own the life of your dreams."
-JEAN CHATZKY, financial journalist and aurhor of
The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even the Toughest Times
"I have probably studied Napoleon Hill's work as much as anyone
alive. It was 50 years ago that I picked up Think and Grow Rich. I have
it with me all the time and read it every day. When Sharon Lechter
sent me a copy of Outwitting the Devil I thought Hill has done it
again, another world changer. This book is going to eliminate the
spiritual confusion people worldwide are presendy experiencing,
and it will tear down the wall of ignorance that separates millions of
individuals from the freedom their soul is seeking."
-BOB PROCTOR, founder of Life Success,
"Most people will achieve their greatest success one step beyond what
looked like their greatest failure. While Napoleon Hill's Think and
Grow Rich provided a roadmap to success, Outwitting the Devil will help
you break through the barriers that may be holding you back."
-BRIAN TRACY, author of The Way to Wealth

Foreword, Actions, and Annotations by Jeffrey Gitomer

Edited by Jennifer Gluckow

Book Designer: Mike Wolff –

Cover design by Faceout Studio, Jeff Miller

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 2018 Jeffrey Gitomer and GitGo, LLC 

About the Author
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The
Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Black Book of
Connections, and The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude. Most of his books
have been number one bestsellers on, including Customer
Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless, The Patterson
Principles of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Green
Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching!, The
Little Teal Book of Trust, Social BOOM!, The Little Book of Leadership, and
the 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. Jeffrey’s books have appeared on
major bestseller lists more than 500 times and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

The First Thoughts of the Father of American
Achievement and Wealth
by Jeffrey Gitomer

In 1917, 20 years before the publication of his magnum opus, THINK AND
GROW RICH, Napoleon Hill began his career as a teacher, philosopher, and
writer at the George Washington Institute in Chicago. There he taught
courses on advertising and selling, but rather than focusing on the more
technical aspects of those subjects, he structured his courses around the
notion that attitude, belief, hard work and personal development were the
keys to achievement.

As a teacher and a writer he intuitively understood that in order to get his
students to succeed, they had to start with the foundation of believing in
themselves, having a positive attitude, and making a plan before they could
ultimately achieve their purpose.

Mindful of the potential legacy of these teachings, and proud to have created
them, Hill wrote, typed, and hand signed each lesson.
Over the next two decades, Hill would go on to hone his craft and
substantiate his original thinking by interviewing and writing about the most
successful people of his time: icons like Edison, Firestone, Burroughs, and
Schwab. Over the course of 45 years, Hill expanded the positive principles he
wrote about and spoke about in 1917; penned ten books that have sold more
than 100,000,000 copies; delivered thousands of talks and lectures; and
became world renowned as the leader in self-help, personal development and
positive attitude. One hundred years later, he still holds that global position.
But what of those original lessons on life Napoleon Hill taught in 1917? Long
the subject of rumors and speculation, they were thought lost to history – until now.

A few years ago, the Napoleon Hill Foundation uncovered Napoleon Hill’s
ORIGINAL writings and teachings. These are not just Hill’s first writings,
they represent the fundamental and foundational thinking that created his legacy.

Napoleon Hill began his career as a college professor in Cleveland delivering
lectures and lessons, and had the presence of mind to document them. These
lessons and lectures were penned 20 years before the immortal Think and
Grow Rich was published. These are in fact the first documented writings of Napoleon Hill.

These are Hill’s original thoughts and ideas about how to focus on your
major goals, have a great attitude, and become successful. These are his first
lectures, lessons, and writings. At the same time Hill was teaching
advertising and selling, he was focusing on attitude, self-belief, writing,
persuading, and philosophy of life and living.

These pages of Truthful Living contain Hill’s original writings and lectures
from 1917. Think and Grow Rich was published in 1937. And Hill’s
immortal sales book, How to Sell Your Way Through Life, was published in
1939. The original lessons and lectures in Truthful Living served as the
foundation of his philosophy, strategy, and thinking for his entire body of
work. Genuine classics. Genuine genius.

I have been given the honor by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to edit and
annotate these writings for the 21st century. With as much integrity as I
possess, I have stayed true to the concepts and meaning that Hill was trying
to transfer. Here’s why. . .

In 1971 when I was first exposed to Napoleon Hill, I was a member of a
fledgling sales team and less than impressed with the prospect of learning
about “positive attitude.” In training with my fellow salespeople, I was
literally forced by my peers to study Hill’s book every day. We had a
morning sales meeting where each of us was assigned one chapter in the book
to “report” on. After a while I began to “get it” and during the second read of
the book, only one month later, and daily group discussion with my fellow
salespeople, I became both aware and enlightened that Think and Grow Rich
was a book designed and destined to change my life.

Actually, I read Think and Grow Rich 10 times that year – studied and
implemented both the principles and the directives. The result for me has
been an unbreakable positive attitude and steadfast march toward success
over the past 45 years.

I have had a decade-long affiliation with the Napoleon Hill Foundation. I
create Hill’s weekly newsletter, Napoleon Hill Yesterday and Today, and for
the past ten years have grown it to more than 50,000 readers.
As a result of my positive long-term connection with the Napoleon Hill
Foundation, I have been asked and authorized to compile and annotate the
ORIGINAL writings (1917) of Hill in producing this book.

As eloquent as Hill was, his words were spoken and written 100 years ago.
Not only has time changed, so has the language and lexicon.
With the rare endorsement of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, we are honored
to present TRUTHFUL LIVING – a century-old, modern-day classic.
This book contains the first (annotated) writings of Napoleon Hill that will
impact and inspire you and readers all over the world.

There are twenty-three lessons and lectures about truth, focus, integrity,
desire, decisions, attitude, beliefs, goals, and living. Although written 100
years ago, all of them are timeless gems that have been lightly edited and
annotated where appropriate into 21st-century words and strategies, while
still maintaining the energy and importance of the work as written in 1917.
These are Napoleon Hill’s ORIGINAL thoughts, and FIRST delivered works.
At the end of each lesson I will give you real-world strategies that are easy to
implement, and will have a huge impact on life, family, business, and earnings.
Truthfully yours,
Jeffrey Gitomer
King of Sales
“Think the thoughts, take the actions, and
day-by-day success can be yours.”
– Jeffrey Gitomer

Table of Contents
The First Thoughts of the Father of American Achievement and Wealth
Lesson Number 1 Success Is Up to YOU
Lesson Number 3 HOW TO THINK
Lesson Number 4 IMAGINATION
Lesson Number 10 ADOPT A “CHIEF AIM IN LIFE”!
Lesson Number 14 “LUCK versus P-LUCK!”
Lesson Number 16 Who is BEHIND your success?
Lesson Number 17 IF I HAD BUT ONE WISH!
Lesson Number 18 THE GREAT MAGIC KEY
Lesson Number 21 “THE FIVE-POINT RULE”
Epilogue by Jeffrey Gitomer The TRUTH, the Whole TRUTH, So Help Me HILL
Books You Ought to Read

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“This book by itself is not lifechanging,
but your actions combined
with the wisdom and challenges of
this book will make you a more
successful and wealthier person.”
– Jeffrey Gitomer

“First comes thought; then
organization of that thought into ideas
and plans; then transformation of
those plans into reality. The
beginning, as you will observe, is in
your imagination.”
– Napoleon Hill

“Most people are not willing to do the
hard work that it takes to make
success easy.”
– Jeffrey Gitomer

“When defeat overtakes a man or
woman, the easiest and the most
logical thing to do is to quit. That’s
exactly what the majority of people do.”
– Napoleon Hill

Success in business

Positive psychology

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.

Published simultaneously in Canada.

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Book Details
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 978-0-470-41156-8 (pbk.)
 by The Napoleon Hill Foundation 

Perhaps you are like millions the world over who have read
Napoleon Hill’s writings and have profited from them.
Whether you are a follower of Hill’s teaching or this is your first
encounter with his writing, you will benefit from these lessons on human potential.
The sources of the book you have in your hands are magazines Hill
published over eighty years ago. Hill’s Golden Rule Magazine and Hill’s
Magazine were published for several years before his first book
appeared. Hill’s lessons are a series of writings on human potential.
The remote mountains of Wise County, Virginia, where Hill was
born in 1883, did not provide a lot of opportunities for a boy being
raised in poverty. Hill’s mother died when he was ten years old, and
his father married again a year later. Napoleon’s new stepmother was
to be a blessing to the young boy. Martha was a young widow who was
educated, the daughter of a doctor; she took a liking to her highly
energized stepson, who was often involved in mischievous deeds.
The newest member of the Hill household was a source of encouragement
that lasted a lifetime. Later in life, Hill credited his stepmother
in a manner similar to the way Abraham Lincoln, the
sixteenth President of the United States, credited his, when he
once remarked that ‘‘whatever I am or ever aspire to be I owe to
that dear woman.’’ By the age of thirteen, with the help of his
stepmother, he had traded a pistol for a typewriter. A series of articles
would encourage his pursuit of a profession in writing.
After two years of high school, Hill enrolled in a business school,
and upon completion sought a job with Rufus Ayres, who had been
Attorney General of the State of Virginia, an officer in the Confederacy,
and at one time a candidate for the United States Senate.
General Ayres was into banking, lumber, and coal mining, and Hill
thought of him as the richest man in the mountains. Suddenly
attracted to the law profession, however, Hill convinced his brother
Vivian to apply with him to Georgetown Law School; Napoleon
would work as a writer and pay both of their ways. Both enrolled at
Georgetown Law School, and Vivian graduated but Napoleon was
detoured, obtaining a job with Bob Taylor’s Magazine, which was owned
by Robert Taylor, a United States Senator from Tennessee. Hill’s
assignments were success stories, including a story on the growth of
Mobile, Alabama, as a seaport. When he was sent to interview
Andrew Carnegie at his 45-room mansion, what was scheduled to
be a short interview lasted three days. Carnegie challenged him to
interview the successful and develop a philosophy of success, which
Hill would then teach to others. Hill’s life was changed drastically, and
his lifelong adventure was to interview successful people in his study
of why some were successful and so many others were not.
Carnegie’s introduction put the young Hill in contact with Henry
Ford, Thomas Edison, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller, and
other noted people of the time. Hill’s study of the success principles
took twenty years with over five hundred interviews before he wrote his first book.
Hill lived to be 87 years old and during his lifetime developed the
philosophy of success principles that are as relevant today as when he
studied and recorded his findings in his books. Hill’s first title was
actually an eight-volume set called The Law of Success, published in
1928. He began to receive royalties of $2,000 to $3,000 per month,
such a huge sum that he purchased a Rolls-Royce for a visit up Guest
River in the mountains of Wise County, Virginia, where he had spent his childhood.

Hill wrote a small book called The Magic Ladder to Success, and while
it appeared to be a condensed version of The Law of Success, it added a
section called ‘‘Forty Unique Ideas’’ for making money. Among Hill’s
ideas were automatic gas filling stations at which motorists could
serve themselves either day or night, keyless locks to prevent theft,
and fountain drinks made of vegetables served fresh without preservatives.
Remember, this was in 1930; the list demonstrates what a visionary Hill was.
Further evidence that Hill was a visionary is found in the fact that
so much of the self-help material written today is simply a version of
what Hill studied and wrote about over 80 years ago.
Today a number of books have been written about the law of
attraction as if it is some newly discovered principle that will ensure
success. Hill wrote about this ‘‘new’’ principle in the March 1919 issue
of Hill’s Golden Rule Magazine, which is included in Lesson #4: The Law of Retaliation.
Today there are stacks and stacks of books that reference one or
more of Hill’s works, and he is no doubt quoted more than any other
motivational writer or speaker who ever lived. These quotes are
sometimes used verbatim and at other times with slight changes.
In 1937, Hill wrote his most famous book, Think and Grow Rich,
which sold out three times the year it was published at $2.50 a copy in
the middle of the Great Depression, and that was without mass
advertising that exists today. Think and Grow Rich has sold over sixty
million copies worldwide and still sells about one million copies per
year. Today a best seller is usually classified as a book that sells a
hundred thousand copies. All of Hill’s books have sold more than
that, and most exceed a million copies. The more popular books
today have what publishers refer to as a shelf life of one to two years
(the length of time the book is in demand and remains in stock at
major bookstores). Hill’s The Law of Success has been in continuous
publication since 1928, Think and Grow Rich since 1937, Master Key to
Riches since 1945, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude since 1960,
Grow Rich with Peace of Mind since 1967, and You Can Work Your Own
Miracles since 1971. In other words, Hill’s books sell better today than
when he first wrote them.
—Don M. Green
Executive Director
The Napoleon Hill Foundation

How to Get the Most from Reading This Book
If you read Napoleon Hill’s books, you will find several that include a
section from the best seller Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude,
which he wrote withW. Clement Stone. This article is called ‘‘How to
Get the Most from Reading This Book.’’
In order to tap into the powers that are available to you, you must first
be prepared to accept and apply the information.
The principles of success will work for you as they have for others,
regardless of education, heredity, or environment. But if you take the
belief you are destined to fail and that you cannot do anything to
prevent it, you will surely fail. The choice is yours and yours alone.

The R2A2 Formula
The formula will tell you not only what to do but how to do it. If you
are ready to use the R2A2 formula, here are two principles that will
assure your success:
1. Recognize, Relate, Assimilate, and Apply principles, techniques,
and methods from what you see, hear, read, and experience that
can help you attain your goals. This is called the R2A2 formula.
The R2 stands for Recognize and Relate and A2 for Assimilate
and Apply.
2. Direct your thoughts, control your emotions, and ordain your
destiny by motivating yourself at will to achieve worthwhile goals.
In using the formula, keep your goals in mind and be ready to
accept useful information.
As you read, concentrate on the meanings and words as they relate
to your own goals. Read the material as if the author is writing to you.
As you read, underscore sentences or passages you feel are
important to you.
Write in the margins when you are inspired with ideas that have
potential benefit.
As you read and apply the R2A2 formula, remember that the
second part of the formula is the most important point. This part
many people hurry over and tend to avoid. These are the same people
who make excuses or blame others for their lack of success. Without
action the material will not be worth the price you pay for any selfhelp book.
—The Napoleon Hill Foundation

Table of Contents

Lesson #1: Your Social and Physical Heredity 1
Lesson #2: Auto-Suggestion 7
Lesson #3: Suggestion 27
Lesson #4: The Law of Retaliation 51
Lesson #5: The Power of Your Mind 69
Lesson #6: How to Build Self-Confidence 81
Lesson #7: Environment and Habit 95
Lesson #8: How to Remember 121
Lesson #9: How Mark Antony Used Suggestion in
Winning the Roman Mob 147
Lesson #10: Persuasion versus Force 161
Lesson #11: The Law of Compensation 187
Lesson #12: The Golden Rule as a Passkey to
All Achievement 199

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An Official Publication Of The Napoleon Hill Foundation

A TarcherPerigee Book

Success—Psychological aspects. | Knowledge. | Opportunity. | Psychology, Applied.

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 2017 by The Napoleon Hill Foundation
 Penguin supports copyright   

About the Author
Napoleon Hill was born in 1883 in Wise County, Virginia. He worked as a
secretary, a “mountain reporter” for a local newspaper, the manager of a coal
mine and a lumberyard, and attended law school, before he began working as a
journalist for Bob Taylor’s Magazine—a job that led to his meeting steel
magnate Andrew Carnegie, which changed the course of his life. Carnegie urged
Hill to interview the greatest industrialists, inventors, and statesmen of the era in
order to discover the principles that led them to success. Hill took on the
challenge, which lasted twenty years and formed the building block first for The
Law of Success (also published by TarcherPerigee), and later for Think and
Grow Rich, the wealth-building classic and all-time best seller of its kind. After
a long and varied career as an author, magazine publisher, lecturer, and
consultant to business leaders, the motivational pioneer died in 1970 in South

Introduction to How to Own Your Own Mind, 
by Don Green,

IN 1941, NAPOLEON HILL created and published seventeen booklets, each one
setting forth an explanation of the principles of personal achievement Mr. Hill
had developed from studying great American success stories for twenty years.
He was inspired to do so when, as a fledgling reporter, he interviewed the great
steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, who outlined the principles of success and
commissioned young Napoleon to commence an intense study of how these
principles contributed to the success of the great men of the time, and of earlier
times. He called the series of booklets Mental Dynamite, a phrase Mr. Carnegie
had used to describe the seventeen principles.
Very shortly after the booklets were published, Pearl Harbor was attacked and
America entered World War II. In preparing for and ultimately winning that war,
Mental Dynamite, with so many other things of significance but less importance
than the war, was set aside by the American public. It laid gathering dust in the
archives of the Napoleon Hill Foundation until recently it was rediscovered, and
it is now being reprinted by the foundation in book form.
This book was created by our foundation putting together three related
chapters of the Mental Dynamite masterpiece. Each deals with how to think
before acting, and thereby how to recognize opportunities, define one’s Definite
Major Purpose, and refine it until it is time to take action. When these chapters
have been mastered, you will know how to own your own mind.
The first chapter sets forth the principle of Creative Vision. Andrew Carnegie
explains to young Napoleon in Mr. Carnegie’s study in 1908 that imagination is
a primary component of it, and Mr. Carnegie provides examples of how
imagination enables people to be successful in such apparently diverse activities
as inventing and sales. But imagination has to be applied. “Fleeting thoughts”
and “mere wishes” are not enough to create inventions and make sales,
and “mere wishes” are not enough to create inventions and make sales,
according to Mr. Carnegie; one must recognize opportunities, and act upon them.
This is the essence of Creative Vision. Mr. Carnegie also details the ten
principles of success that are used by all people who successfully apply Creative Vision.
Dr. Hill follows the extensive quotations from his interview of Mr. Carnegie
with his own commentary, written some thirty-three years later. He suggests a
number of ideas for improving society and industry that could benefit from the
use of Creative Vision, and many are amazingly ahead of their time. He then
provides a number of examples of people of the then present day who had used
Creative Vision to succeed.
Considered together, the insights of Andrew Carnegie and Napoleon Hill
provide a compelling lesson on how all of us can use our Creative Vision to
recognize opportunities and attain our goals.
Chapter Two discusses the importance of the principle of Organized Thought.
Through the use of three charts, Dr. Hill explains how one can attain and then
use Organized Thought to succeed in controlling one’s destiny. I believe you
will realize, as I have, that these three charts deserve repeated study, and that
each reading of them reveals something new. They disclose how Organized
Thought, willpower, and self-discipline interact with the faculties of the mind,
the five senses, the basic human motives, and other success principles to produce
results when—and this is essential—action is taken. Thoughts without action are ineffective.
Dr. Hill explains how inductive and deductive reasoning and social heredity
contribute to the development of Organized Thought. He explains the
importance of habits, both good and bad, in influencing one’s ability to achieve
Organized Thought. The chapter concludes with excerpts from young
Napoleon’s 1908 interview with Andrew Carnegie, in which Mr. Carnegie
details the positive things which can be accomplished by Organized Thought,
and how its use by evil men is doomed to fail.
Chapter Three is devoted to the success principle of Controlled Attention.
Controlled Attention is concentration, and more. It is the means by which one’s
plans are impressed on the subconscious mind. It is the process of controlling all
the activities of the mind and directing them to a given end. It is essential to the
implementation of Creative Vision and Organized Thought.
Dr. Hill explains how the use of other success principles, such as Going the
Extra Mile, the Master Mind, and faith, can intensify the ability to develop
Controlled Attention and bolster one’s confidence. He provides examples of
people who have combined many of the success principles with Controlled
Attention to develop previously unknown solutions to problems. Dr. Hill also
sets forth testimonials from many famous and successful people about how
important Controlled Attention was to their lives. A common theme is that one
should control attention by focusing it on one major purpose rather than many.
The chapter concludes with a further interview with Mr. Carnegie about the
effects of the use of Controlled Attention. Controlled Attention leads to
specialization in one’s life, which produces greater rewards than a generalized
approach to a business or profession. It is essential to advancement and
promotion in employment. And, when employed by the citizenry, it leads to the
success of free enterprise and democracy, in contrast to a Socialist society, in
which Controlled Attention, if utilized at all, ultimately withers and dies.
Napoleon Hill’s best-known book is Think and Grow Rich. The chapters in
the book before you help explain the reasoning behind that title. As Dr. Hill
repeatedly emphasized, action is critical to success. But you must think before
you act or your actions will be wasted.
These timeless chapters about the importance of thought before action will
prove to be very instructive in helping you attain your own Definite Major
Purpose. To do so, you must learn how to own your own mind, and this book
will tell you how to do it.

Table of Contents

Title Page

CHAPTER ONE: Creative Vision
Analysis of Chapter One
Introduction to Chapter Two

CHAPTER TWO: Organized Thought
Andrew Carnegie’s Views on Organized Thinking

CHAPTER THREE: Controlled Attention
Andrew Carnegie’s Analysis of Controlled Attention
How to Own Your Own Mind

About the Author

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THE power with which we think is “mental dynamite,” and it can be
organized and used constructively for the attainment of definite ends. If
it is not organized and used through controlled habits, it may become a
“mental explosive” that will literally blast one’s hopes of achievement
and lead to inevitable failure.
—Andrew Carnegie
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