Mark Hatfield: Journey To The NFL

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”. ~ Lewis Carroll

Every now and then, you hear something that makes you stop and marvel at how this amazing Universe works. When I first heard this story, I was blown away and had to learn more. Today, I get to share this story with you. Mark Hatfield is a guy who knew exactly where he was going and relentlessly pursued his dream until he achieved it.

Watch my interview with Mark here:

As teenagers, Mark Hatfield and his older brother Bill were avid football fans. Bill was born with a hole in his heart, which meant that he could die from his condition on any given day. Bill treated each day as a gift and he passed this valuable lesson on to his younger brother. This lesson would inform every decision Mark would make in his life moving forward.

On January 22nd, 1985, Mark and Bill were watching the Superbowl together. Seeing Dan Marino on the screen, Bill thought that if a young guy like Dan Marino could play for the Miami Dolphins, then one day his little brother could play in the NFL, too. Bill planted the seed of a dream inside of Mark.

Later that year, on October 30, 1985, Bill passed away. On that day, Mark made a promise that he would one day play for the Miami Dolphins.

Getting to the NFL was not an easy task, and there were many opportunities for Mark to quit. But he never did. With his brother’s inspiration and Mark’s dogged determination, he got himself there.

Dreams Do Come True

Some would call what happened next a coincidence. I see it as the culmination of Mark’s dream after years of hard work and dedication; with a special sign from Bill of a job well done. I believe Mark sees it this way, too.

On October 30, 1995, ten years to the day of making that promise to his brother, Dan Marino shook Mark’s hand and welcomed him to the team as an offensive linebacker. He did it!! Ten years TO THE DAY of making that promise.

I get goosebumps even writing those words. Wow. The power of setting goals and then working like mad to achieve them. Incredible.

A concussion required Mark to say goodbye to his football career, but he had always thought about becoming a firefighter, and so that was the next goal he set out to achieve. He then started using his story to inspire others to go after their goals through his motivational talks to youth and corporate groups.

During our conversation, we talk about how we can all set goals for ourselves, and, as success breeds success, we can help set our kids, and ourselves, up to win when we build a history of making promises and going after our dreams.

Mark continues to fight fires in Ottawa and he recently began doing stand-up comedy at Yuk-Yuk’s, which stemmed out of one of his motivational talks where someone asked him if he’d ever considered stand-up.

It seems there is nothing this guy can’t do if he sets his mind to it, and as a loving husband and father of three boys, one wonders where he gets his sleep. He relies on coffee to help himself out 😉

In Mark’s own words, “Enjoy it while it lasts. The time is now to live your dreams.” I hear those words and am taking them to heart. I wish the same for you.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.


To book Mark to speak at your next event or to get in touch with him, visit

P.S. Please comment below if you have a dream or a goal that you would like to fulfill. As Mark suggests, by telling people what you want to achieve and by writing it down, you increase your chances of success.

P.P.S. I should explain why Mark is “under the stairs like Harry Potter” during our conversation…it was close to his router and gave him a better connection. He used an ironing board as a table and had his coffee nearby. Gotta love a guy who will make things happen no matter what obstacles are in his way!

P.P.P.S. To learn more about how Mark’s wife painted that lovely piece, and how you can do the same, visit There are events across Canada and the US. 🙂

P.P.P.P.S. Let’s be friends! Connect with me on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. 🙂




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