Sharpening your Saw – A Habit of Highly Successful People

Recently myself and each of my teammates were asked to read a chapter in the the renowned book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. My chapter was Sharpening the Saw.

It was about how our mental, physical, spiritual, and social games contain the tools that we work with on a daily basis. If these tools become dull it affects both our personal and work lives. In the insurance industry we work with people daily, and in order to be our best, it’s important that we sharpen our saw in many respects. By doing so, we enhance not only our own happiness but the world around us. We also make sure we are operating at our maximum potential. Let me elaborate on the four areas this chapter focused on and how it relates to us.

The Physical

This includes how well we manage our homes, how well we take care of our bodies, and a variety of other things. Managing effectively in this area definitely results in a sharper saw.  It also affects how we interact daily with others and the effort we put into our jobs.

Do we get enough sleep? Energy levels can determine our whole attitude when we are writing insurance polices or greeting customers. Are we eating the right? What we put into our bodies is what we get back out.  If we eat poorly, we may be tired or lethargic, which means we aren’t giving our best. Do we get enough exercise? Even if we aren’t a gym fanatics, small doses of exercise can help. Try going for a walk during lunch. Exercise boosts endorphin levels and makes us happier. And the happier we are internally, the more profound and positive our interactions are with others.

The Spiritual

Everything needs meaning and purpose. If we know what makes us tick, we can gear our work efforts toward finding a good balance.

Some Personal ways to practice this might be daily devotionals, hikes, nature walks, or meditation. This gives us the time to think about what matters to us. Then we can take that and translate it to our business. I personally enjoy helping people be successful, and by helping them implement their agency management system, I provide them with tools that make them more successful. Try finding what gives you meaning and purpose and implement that.

The Mental

The mental refers to our willingness and ability to learn. I feel this is one of the most important factors in both work and personal life. If we refuse to learn, we stagnate the other areas of our growth. They all begin to relate to each other.  As insurance agents we all have to take Continuing Education (CE). This sharpens our saw. Take it a step further and give yourself the tools to be successful on a regular basis. Find something that has relevance and make it interesting. Make it a weekly habit.

The Social

This focuses on how we relate to others. Are we interacting with people and giving back to our fellow man in a way that enriches and enhances our own well being? This also relates to our work lives: Helping others and interacting with them makes us feel good and should be what we all strive for. Be positive; a smile is priceless. If you disagree with someone that’s okay. Figure out how to compromise, listen, and make it a great experience for both parties.


All of these factors function simultaneously in the workplace. If we don’t interact well, it certainly has an impact on our willingness to work. If we don’t learn, we get behind and find our daily work lives more challenging. If we don’t have meaning and purpose, we wonder why we do what we do every day.  And of course we need energy and vitality to make all those things happen. So now that you know the tools, how can you sharpen your saw?