4 steps on creating your highlight reel

Tom Martin – Devoted Husband and Stepfather to teenage sons, cancer fighter battling and trusting God period on the outcome, manager of a Subaru dealership, writer of a blog called Leveraging Life where life’s lessons are viewed through the lens of faith with the hope those lessons can be share and leveraged for the benefit of others.


If your life ended today, what do you think you would be remembered for?

  • What just came to mind?
  • What collection of thoughts?
  • What images?
  • How do you think your highlights would view to those who only casually knew you?

I think for most of us, if we knew our highlight reel was about to be shown, we would desperately want to control how and what made it to the big screen. Pause, slow motion, and rewind would be popular buttons when our personal and professional accomplishments and success stories were on display.  Simultaneously, highlights of painful moments and poor decisions would put fast forward, skip, and delete in high demand.

Unfortunately, none of us have the luxury to edit the way our lives have already played out, but the good news is we all have the opportunity to create a better highlight reel moving forward. If your reel needs improvement, my suggestion is that you take these four steps.

Create your vision 

To create highlights, you have to look to the end of the movie and work backwards.  By that I mean, you have to decide today what you want to be known for tomorrow. This step is the most difficult one and requires the most time, because how we want to be viewed can be so broad and encompass so many things.

The best starting point I’ve found is what I call my 4F’s, and all can center around one simple question, “What legacy do I want to leave?”

  • Faith  — Will my actions compliment or contradict what I profess to believe?
  • Family – Will my spouse, children, siblings, and parents be prominently featured in my highlight reel, or will they be seen as extras or parts of the scenery?
  • Friends – Will the role they play in the story have more to do what they did for me or what I did for them?
  • Finances – Will they show entitlement or stewardship?

Bring it into focus 

Just making the decision to create a better highlight reel doesn’t lead to a life of better highlights.

  • What people, places, things and actions are needed for your vision to become your reality?
  • Are there people, places, things and actions that are part of your reality now that blur that vision?

Be sure you use a wide-angle lens when you contemplate this.

  • Are your surroundings consistent with your vision or is there a tension between the two?

Pay attention to that tension so you create an environment where good highlights become the norm and bad highlights stop before they start.

Commit to it

Having vision and being focused are important steps when it comes to setting goals and changing behaviors to create different outcomes, but vision and focus without commitment usually leads to disappointment and failure. For most of us, when it comes to goal setting or creating a great highlight, we sometimes forget to ask ourselves if we are truly ready to commit to the effort it will require. Motivation creates motion toward a desired result, but commitment produces the outcome we desire.

Be accountable to making it happen

For most people, being accountable to someone is an uncomfortable position, because suddenly the choices we make are now on display and up for review. But when you find yourself accountable to someone who cares more about ‘who you become’ rather than ‘who you are at a given moment,’ you have created an environment for growth beyond what you can achieve on your own. The other benefit of being accountable, one that never gets enough credit, is the fact you now have someone to celebrate your success with, someone to remind you how far you’ve come, and someone to say…”oh, how beautiful this will play out on your highlight reel!”

Start making a better highlight reel today!

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