Outwitting the Devil

24 Traits of a “Drifter”

I’ve always been a big fan of Napoleon Hill. After all, Think and Grow Rich is a timeless classic that contains a lot of seeds for personal development greatness.

So naturally, I was excited to learn about this “new” book of Napoleon Hill published just last year entitled Outwitting the Devil. It was actually written in 1938, a year after Think and Grow Rich was published. The story goes that his family (specifically his wife) did not want the book published due to the controversial subject matter (an interview with “the devil”). Napoleon Hill died in 1970 and his wife, Annie Lou in 1984. The manuscript was kept by the Napoleon Hill Foundation and was only released for  publication in 2011.

After having read Outwitting the Devil, I think Mr. Hill has another masterpiece here and a future classic. I recommend you read it whether or not you’re a Napoleon Hill fan. It contains a lot of valuable life and success lessons.

The “devil” claims to have control of 98% of the population while only 2% of people use their minds to stay focused and positive, thereby remaining immune to the devil’s powers. The 98% are what are referred to as “drifters”. The 2% the devil cannot reach are “non-drifters”.

Following is a list of character traits and habits of a typical DRIFTER:                                                                                                                              (How many people do you know that fit into this category?)

1. He will be conspicuous by his lack of self-confidence.

2. He will never accomplish anything requiring thought and effort.

3. He spends all he earns and more too, if he can get credit.

4. He will be sick or ailing from some real or imaginary cause, and calling to high heaven if he suffers the least physical pain.

5. He will have little or no imagination.

6. He will lack enthusiasm and initiative to begin anything he is not forced to undertake, and he will plainly express his weakness by taking the line of least resistance whenever he can do so.

7. He will be ill-tempered and lacking in control of his emotions.

8. His personality will be without magnetism and it will not attract other people.

9. He will have opinions on everything but accurate knowledge of nothing.

10. He may be a jack of all trades but good at none.

11. He will neglect to cooperate with those around him, even those on whom he must depend for food and shelter.

12. He will make the same mistake over and over again, never profiting by failure.

13. He will be narrow-minded and intolerant on all subjects, ready to crucify those who may disagree with him.

14. He will expect everything of others but be willing to give little or nothing in return.

15. He may begin many things but he will complete nothing.

16. He will be loud in his condemnation of his government, but he will never tell you definitely how it can be improved.

17. He will never reach decisions on anything if he can avoid it, and if he is forced to decide he will reverse himself at the first opportunity.

18. He will eat too much and exercise too little.

19. He will take a drink of liquor if someone else will pay for it.

20. He will gamble if he can do it “on the cuff”.

21. He will criticize others who are succeeding in their chosen calling.

22. In brief, the drifter will work harder to get out of thinking than most others work in earning a good living.

23. He will tell a lie rather than admit his ignorance on any subject.

24. If he works for others, he will criticize them to their backs and flatter them to their faces.


My next post will feature the habits of the NON-DRIFTER (See that HERE).

Until next time,


p.s.  As always, please comment or “like” if you’re so inclined. Thanks! 🙂


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