Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

May 2015

Willie Mays, like the Babe and Teddy Baseball, was a great unjuiced hitter. He introduced the world to “Say, hey,” whatever that means, and was at home playing the vast center field of the old Polo Grounds or wowing street-loads of kids with his stickball prowess.

What I remember best, though, was the fact that Willie didn’t know why he was so great. A comparison of Mays’s to Williams’s hitting showed in photographs that Williams’s eyes were focused on the ball as it struck the bat, but not so for Willie. His eyes were looking out, like maybe a champion horseshoe thrower. Yet they both claimed that seeing the ball was the trigger to their swings.

I recently saw a quote by Louis Pasteur, who claimed the secret to his success was tenacity. He said, “Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.”

Really? I thought his wife helped him a lot. Oh, well.

How many people who, upon reflecting on their achievements, decide that it was all due to a secret or as many as a hundred secrets?

It turns out there are a ton. Google “Secrets of successful people.”

You will find 15 things really successful people want you to know, how to live a successful senior life (helped tremendously by living a successful junior life, I would think), 7 great secrets of highly successful people, 5 secrets of successful people. Get the idea that knowing two more secrets, both great, gets you to highly successful rather than merely successful? Don’t miss that “8 habits” book, then 100 simple secrets followed by 20 productivity secrets.

I found a single source (website, actually) where I could spend a bit of time self-improving. It boasts 334,052 articles, 29,642 experts, plus 75,379 more websites.

My conclusions: Ted Williams had great eyes and he practiced a lot; Willie Mays was just freaky good and he loved to play. Pasteur? Who cares how tenacious he was.