Stamina, Not Just Competence: A Key to Winning in Life

A while back, I found a quote that got me thinking: “Amateurs think about tactics. But professionals think about logistics.”

I first heard it in an episode of Hardcore History podcast. It talks about how logistics is often the determining factor in wars. You might have superior troops and tactics, but without good logistics, you wouldn’t be able to achieve your objectives.

This, for instance, is what happened in Operation Barbarossa when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Four weeks into the campaign, the Germans realized they had grossly underestimated Soviet strength. The German troops had used their initial supplies, and General Bock quickly came to the conclusion that not only had the Red Army offered stiff opposition, but German difficulties were also due to the logistical problems with reinforcements and provisions.

Long story short, the Nazi was defeated and logistical problems played a big role there.

Why is logistics important? Because logistics helps you sustain your performance. You might perform well initially (like the Nazis when they won the early battles in Operation Barbarossa), but if you can’t sustain your performance, you may fail in the end.

I believe this principle also applies to personal effectiveness. Logistics, in this case, becomes stamina. It’s the ability to sustain your performance for a long time. The lesson is this:

To achieve something meaningful, you need not just competence but also stamina.

Why is that the case? Why is stamina important? Because, more often than not, your journey is a marathon, not a sprint. That means you need to perform well for a long time. Grit plays a big role here because grit is defined as “passion and perseverance for long-term goals”.

Here are some additional tips on how to improve your stamina.

  1. Have a margin. Having a margin helps you stay balanced when a crisis comes. You will be able to take a punch without losing your balance in mental energy, personal finance, etc.
  2. Have a support group. Being in a community gives you the support you need in hard times.
  3. Manage your risks. You need to prepare for the worst and always have a backup plan. You’d be glad you do.
  4. Manage your energy. Productivity is more about energy management than time management. Good energy management can help you sustain your performance.

Again, you need not just competence, but also stamina. By performing well for a long time, you will be on your way to reaching your full potential.


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