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Interviews on Purpose with guest Joe Hawley

This weeks guest is Joe Hawley. Joe is a former professional football player who played 8 years in the NFL with both the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2017, after walking away from the game, he was confronted with the loss of identity and purpose which led him towards a path of self-discovery and healing. That's when he decided to give everything he owned away to charity, bought a van and hit the road on a trip across the country for almost two years that completely changed his life. He is now an entrepreneur and investor who is passionate about facilitating discussions, community and gatherings in service to building the foundation for a more beautiful world. He is the founder of The Härt Collective and host of the Drop Into The Härt podcast. He lives in Austin, TX with his partner Sarah and son Luka.

You can visit him at or follow him on instagram @joe.hawley

What is your purpose in life?

That's a great question and one I've been actively searching for since I walked away from the game of football. My purpose is continuing to be revealed to me as I navigate the process of unfolding in my life. I'm focused on reaching my highest potential and surrendering into how I'm being called to serve. I'm currently being called to build community through The Härt Collective and supporting heart-led leaders in building a brighter vision for the future.

Where does this come from and how did you discover it?

When I walked away from football, I was confronted with a deep loss of purpose in my life. I felt a void deep within my heart. I didn't know who I was or what I should do with my life. So I went on a journey of self-discovery and healing. In some ways I'm still on that journey, and probably always will be. I've learned to follow my heart, to trust my own inner knowing. This knowing has always led me towards the unknown which is uncomfortable and scary. But that's where the deeper parts of who I am have been revealed. The universe rewards those courageous enough to follow their hearts.

How does this purpose uniquely play out in your everyday life and work?

I'm constantly pushing myself to learn, grow and expand who I am. The only place growth occurs is outside our comfort zone. And so I'm constantly open to the many lessons that come with being in relationship, a father and an entrepreneur. I make mistakes, I fail and I continue moving forward. I've adopted the idea that life is always happening for me rather than to me. And because of this, I'm always growing. Wisdom is gained through experience.

How do you remain vibrant, encouraged and energized?

Oh man, I'd say that some days are better than others, especially currently. I'm moving through some pretty big changes in my life. And I'm being challenged to make some hard decisions in business. And being a new father has been a whirlwind. But I'm an eternal optimist. I love life. And the way I stay centered and energized is through GRATITUDE. I'm always reflecting on what I have to be grateful for. One of the ways I do this is always reminding myself of "what a time to be alive!"

What is success?

This is a great question. I've been confronting this within myself lately. There's a part of me that feels insecure and unworthy, always trying to prove myself to the world. Objectively, I'm sure a lot of people would look at my life and accomplishments and call me extremely successful. But some days, I just don't feel that way. I'm usually feeling this when I'm focused on the things I haven't yet accomplished or achieved. I have big visions for my life. But then I reflect, what am I doing all of this stuff for anyway? Can I just be present as the journey unfolds rather than comparing myself to others who I perceive as more successful than me? I don't think I'm unique in having these types of feelings. So how I define success is the ability to stay present as the journey of life unfolds. So when I'm feeling insecure, like a failure or like I'm not successful, it's usually because I'm not being present and I'm focused on some future that hasn't actually happened yet. So for me Success = presence! And that's a lifelong journey.

What is one thing that you do everyday that is a necessity for your success?

It's the simplest thing any of us can do. It's the most powerful tool at our disposal. And most people don't even realize they're not using it. I connect with my BREATH. I either meditate. Contemplate. or simply take a few deep breaths. It's how I come back into my body, how I come back into the present moment. The breath is my #1 ally.

Any other thoughts or words of encouragement for those on the path of discovering their purpose?

We're moving through a massive shift on this planet right now. Things are changing rapidly. We're moving at such a fast pace into the unknown, it can feel scary and overwhelming. I don't think anyone can really predict what the coming years and decades will look like. The best way to navigate this transition, in my opinion, is to develop the tools to stay centered within yourself. Learn to let go of the things that no longer serve you and find your truth - the one that radiates out from your heart. And most importantly find your tribe. Community is the currency of the future. Invest in yourself and invest in your relationships. And buckle up, it's going to be one hell of a ride! What a time to be alive!

Thanks for reading!

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