Beauty in Unexpected Places

After yesterday's speaking engagement, someone I'd never met rushed straight over to tell me a story.

Two years ago, he & his wife were deciding if they were ready to be foster parents. They happen to watch my film Legends of the Knight on Netflix, and it inspired them to take the leap. They ultimately adopted the kids they welcomed into their home.

I never imagined the film impacting a family this way. It was a reminder that when you choose to express hope & kindness it spreads beauty into unexpected places.

Dear friends, keep shining!

Building Connection in the Midst of Division

Last night, I sat in a living room with 10 people of diverse viewpoints sharing their hearts.  They talked openly about their struggles and fears.  My wife Tricia & I were invited to facilitate the discussion, but we cried right along with them. 

I wish you could have been there.  My heart was filled with hope watching these people build connection with each other from love, even when they knew they didn’t agree on everything.

Healthy relationships and communities are built on speaking and listening well.  I believe the events of the past week are an opportunity for all of us to do this together.  Right now, some of our deepest beliefs and anxieties are coming to the surface. 

Whatever your opinions are, whomever you voted for, you have a choice to make today… Will you use this moment to stoke the fires of endless debate and separation?  Or will you create environments that help EVERYONE speak their hearts, feel known, and recognize that they are absolutely loved and valued?

Here’s a thought that might help:

In counseling sessions, therapists recommend speaking from your experience.  For example, your instinct might be to say “You don’t respect me.”  And maybe that’s true.  Perhaps the person you are speaking to doesn’t respect you.  But the bigger goal is beyond simply speaking the truth.  You want to create understanding, because relationships are built on connection, not information. 

You could choose to shift your words to “I FEEL like you don’t respect me” or “When you did this I SAW it as disrespect”.  Rather than condemning, you are sharing your experience and inviting me to listen and join you in it.  This opens the door for empathy. 

I love your heart, and your voice matters.  The good news is that being yourself doesn’t require attacking or shaming others.  It doesn’t have to be “you” against “them”.  You can invite people to understand your story and expand their own story in the process.  This is the essence of real community. 

Dear friend, thank you for being so beautiful.  I am honored to be on your side.  

Update on our next film, Look to the Sky!

For the next 3 months, my primary focus will be finishing our upcoming documentary film, Look to the Sky.

We are planning to begin charity screenings for this uplifting film Spring 2017, & we would love for you to join us on this adventure!

The film is about HOPE... what it is, how we lose it, and how we get it back. It will tell the stories of young people whose lives have shared a vision of hope that I think all of us need to experience. And 'Look to the Sky' is also about Superman. 

Just like our previous film, you will be able to host a screening in your community to benefit a charitable organization.

Stay tuned... It's going to be SO fun!


Anything is Possible

After 71 years of failing to reach the World Series, last night the Chicago Cubs forced Game 7 with a Grand Slam.

A few days ago, many people thought the series was over. Months ago, most people would NOT have imagined the Cubs in Game 7.

Will they win the World Series for the first time in 108 years? No one knows. But for me, the joy is in the idea that it COULD happen. This improbable possibility fills me with such hope for me, for you, and for the world.

If this opportunity can exist for baseball players in Chicago, just imagine what might happen in YOUR LIFE today, tomorrow, or in the days ahead!

Anything is possible. There is always hope.


UPDATE:  They won.  Congrats to the Chicago Cubs & their legions of fans who have waited & believed.

A Superhero on a Bike


I am filming with my new friend, Amanda. In the last 130 days she & her bike have traveled 30,000 miles! That's an average of 229 miles a day!

This morning, she broke the women's cycling world record for highest annual mileage.

And she's not done! After a few minutes of celebration, she pedaled away to reach her goal of breaking the men's world record. 

Her heroic Dad has been with her every day, supporting her throughout the journey. I can't wait for you to meet them in our upcoming documentary film, A Voice That Carries.

We Are Starlight

This week I was honored to present the opening keynote address at the NCSHA conference at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach.

Watch a VIDEO CLIP from the event

I continue to have incredible opportunities to speak to business leaders, educators, and community heroes around the country. I share stories from my filmmaking adventures that show the potential all of us have to be leaders & bring more hope into the world.

After each presentation, people feel inspired to tell me their personal stories. Sometimes we smile and celebrate the successes. Often, we hug and cry about the struggles. I try to speak a blessing to each of them. Yesterday it took 3 hours to meet everyone who wanted a moment together.

brett culp

There are many things I don't understand about my life, but I know for certain that I was made to do this. And it brings me great joy.

I hope today you are using your extraordinary gifts to bless others and make the world a more compassionate & loving place. It will help others, and your heart will be so full!

Return to Hope

Today I spoke to a group of educators near Green Bay, WI.

After the presentation one of the attendees found me. With tears in her eyes she said: "Last year was my first year teaching. It was such a difficult time, and I almost lost my faith. Thank you for being here this morning. You really helped me in my return to hope."

I gave her a big hug, and I cried a little too.

As I drove to the airport, I thought about the career ahead for this heroic teacher, and the sense of possibility she will spread to hundreds of students in the years to come. What a joy to affirm her heart and play a small role in multiplying hope in the world!

So, I'm really glad I visited Wisconsin today! 

The Little Things Become the Big Things


I travel a lot. My Dad always drives me to the airport. He drops me off for the 5am departures and picks me up even when my flight is delayed until long after midnight. Our conversations in the car are some of our best time together. 

Today, I'm headed to Green Bay, WI. When Dad dropped me off, we hugged and he said: "Go change the world!"

Please don't miss the simple moments. Make the time. Take the drive. Give the hug. Say the words. 

The little things become the big things.

Leadership is NOT a Title

This morning I spoke in Washington DC to leaders who are defining what housing & care for seniors will look like in the next decade. 

Using my filmmaking projects as a starting point, we had an uplifting discussion about embracing our humanity and infusing a heroic spirit into their organizations. Their thoughtful questions about my work showed their heart to use their industry to make the world a better place. 

We had a wonderful time together!

A Gathering of Heroes in Kentucky

Last night I spoke in Bowling Green, Kentucky at a United Way event honoring 60 local heroes who have made an impact with their everyday leadership. 

The world is FULL of good people who are committed to the beautiful possibilities they see in their communities. Such a joy to share thoughts about leadership, compassion, & hope!

And I love my grin in this photo! 

In 1999, I graduated with a degree in Journalism from Western Kentucky University, so it was a joy to be back in Bowling Green speaking to 250 community leaders about my filmmaking journeys. 

And the President of the University sat on the front row & led the standing ovation when I was finished. I thought Dr. Gary Ransdell was a cool guy when I was in school, & it was such a unique, affirming moment for me. 

I have a feeling I am going to be back in Bowling Green for the release of our next film, Look to the Sky.

Here's a clip from the local news about the event...

Have a Beautiful Life!

I bought a souvenir from a street vendor in Florence, Italy. With a thick accent, he said, "Have a good day. And since we probably won't meet again, have a beautiful life!"

I was touched by his words, and I want everyone I meet today to feel this from me. Even if we are together for only a few moments in the span of our entire lives. Even if our encounter seems small & mundane. Even if it is simply someone reading this post on Facebook who I may never meet face-to-face. 

My heart is for everyone to feel this blessing from me: I hope you have a BEAUTIFUL LIFE!

Pursue your LEGACY

When Galileo died in 1642, he had already spent decades as an outcast for his theories, and he was buried in an unmarked location. 

A century later, the world had changed. The tomb behind me was erected in one of the largest basilicas in Florence, Italy to honor him. 

If your ideas are special, you will be misunderstood, criticized, and sometimes you will feel alone. But don't give up your long-term vision for short-term comfort. 

Pursue your LEGACY.

Here's how you build something BIG...

italy duomo.jpg

I’m filming in Florence, Italy this week. 

When the architect designed Il Duomo di Firenze in 1294, his plans included a giant dome.  At the time, the technology didn’t exist to actually construct the dome he envisioned, but he launched out in faith that someone would figure it out when it was time.  Over 100 years later, when the rest of the basilica was complete, a different architect engineered a solution for the dome.  You can see the beautiful accomplishment behind me. 

Maybe you have an extraordinary dream in your heart, but you can’t envision how you will complete it.  Don’t let that stop you.  Most of the great innovators and world changers couldn’t see all the solutions when they began.  And for most of them, the final vision turned out to be different and much better than they first imagined.  They found the best answers during the adventure.

So, get started.  You can begin right now without knowing exactly how to finish the dome.  You are smart, other people will help, and the solution will be there when you need it.    

Look to the Sky - update!

Hello Friends,

Hope this message finds you well!  I’m so excited to update you on our progress with Look to the Sky.

The process of creating a feature-length documentary is always a surprising and wonderful adventure.  Fabulous things continue to unfold as we move along, allowing us the opportunity to keep improving the finished product.

At this point, filming is 90% complete.  This documentary depends on capturing a wide variety of stories from many parts of the world, and scheduling always takes longer than you expect.  Right now, we are on-track to finish all of the filming in October, with at least two more trips planned.

Editing has been in-progress since early this year.  At each stage of editing, we narrow the 200+ hours of raw footage down to another level of precision.  And I have set aside the months of October & November to devote the majority of my time to polishing the storyline arcs of the film in the editing room.  I can’t wait to spend focused time on this!

Additionally, the steady work of writing the Companion Book continues.  This is a new experience for me, but it’s certainly rewarding as we complete the first, then second, drafts of each new chapter. 

Right now, we are focused on bringing everything together so we can begin charity screenings in Spring 2017.  As we are now approaching the finale of the journey, I am pushing to wrap everything up so we can share the movie & the book with you & the world.

As always, thanks for your support!  The past year has been filled with new & unique opportunities for me to share inspiration through filmmaking, speaking engagements, and my new podcast.  It’s been a lot to balance, but I am so grateful for the opportunities to spread hope and compassion through this work.  I deeply appreciate the affirming messages I receive about these efforts on a daily basis.

Looking forward to heroic days ahead!  Back in touch soon with more news.

Sending love & big hugs,


When Things Go Wrong

This makes me LAUGH! 

I recently spoke at an event in Washington DC. Just as I reached the climax of an emotional story, the stage spotlights starting fading in & out. This video shows my response.

In life, stuff goes wrong. Sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes it isn’t. Either way, I find the best approach is to stay cool, smile, authentically acknowledge the craziness, and then use it as an opportunity to build personal connection and bring people together into a shared adventure.

... and, blame the Bat-Signal.