2 Big Key Ideas:
- The Devil targets people know as “The Drifters” who are lost, purposeless, lazy and no thoughts of their own starting from youth.
- “The Non-Drifters” cannot be influenced and controlled by the Devil because of their sense of purpose, definitive plans, and Go-Giver mentality.
Reading Length: 3 minutes
The entire book’s structure is Napoleon Hill interviewing the Devil about his deepest and darkest secrets. The Devil reveals that he targets people known as “The Drifters.”
The Drifters are known to be lazy, weak minded, procrastinators, and purposeless. They also have no thoughts of their own, confidence, imagination, ambition and enthusiasm. They expect everything but contribute nothing, they exercise very little, they drink and eat a lot.
The Devil reveals that the youth make up the majority of the Drifters. And the creation of Drifters start from school since the young have no idea what they want. The major environmental influences are from parents, teachers and professionals.
Here are some of the issues that the Drifters face:
- Health – too much food and overindulgence.
- Marriage – bickering and nagging.
- Occupation – after getting out of school, there remains no purpose and fear of poverty.
- Savings – fear of this.
- Dominating thoughts are negative.
The most common bribes for the Drifters used by the Devil: love, sex, money, vanity, egotism, gambling, drugs, life after death, hero, and food.
The Non Drifters are the complete opposite of the Drifters. They organize definitive plans and goals, never blame others, have a mind of their own, have good memory, makes quick decisions, has a go-giver mentality, and they are an inspiration to all.
Hypnotic Rhythm occurs when you unconsciously engage in an activity through repetition which becomes a habit. This later becomes extremely difficult to break free from. The Devil takes advantage of this when targeting the Drifters. Therefore, the only way to escape is to have a burning desire to control one’s own mind.
The Devil reveals seven important ways someone can avoid being a Drifter:
1) Definiteness of Purpose and No Drifting
We need to establish continuous action and definite plan in life. We also need to avoid procrastination and inaction. The key is to know what you want and make progress towards that plan.
2) Self Discipline
We need to stop indulging in all the main sins including sex overindulgence, envy, greed, jealousy, cheating, lying, stealing, ignorance, accept anything, and drifting through life without purpose. We also need to stop loosely expressing opinions carelessly and talking too much. We also must have faith which is the absence of all negative thoughts.
3) Learning From Adversity
We need to learn from failure. Failure itself is a man-made circumstance and it is not real until a person accepts it. Failure relieves of vanity, tests our strength, forces to see ways to ends, forces us to change thought habits, provides discovery of sixth sense, breaks old habits and builds new habits.
4) Environmental Influences
Our association with others can either be positive or negative so we must choose wisely who we associate with.
Time is the greatest asset we have. It awards positive thoughts and becomes wisdom in Non-drifters. It also penalizes those with negative thinking. Time converts knowledge to wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to relate to natural laws and people. Time also modifies all facts, values and relationships.
Nature forces every living thing to take on the environment. Therefore, we must either change the environment or adapt to it. To do this, we must act with definiteness of purpose to begin everything.
The Drifters usually act first before thinking. On the other hand, the Non-drifter plans ahead before acting. But too much caution is actually fear.
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