Personal Legend Project: Andy Hassler

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Andy Hassler, Blue Mind Roasting

Andy Hassler and his wife Sarah own Blue Mind Roasting in Indianapolis.  Together they run the business while seeking a path of purpose in life.  Andy performs the roasting duties, which I’m featuring in this post.  I’m by no means a coffee expert, but I can tell you the cup Andy brewed for me was damn good.  It was so smooth and flavorful, I had to drink it black.  You can buy through their website or at these Indy-area markets.

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The following set of six questions will be answered by each of the subjects.

1)  Some people call it a “true calling” or their “life’s work.”  In the book The Alchemist, author Paulo Coelho calls it your Personal Legend. What do you consider to be your true calling, or Personal Legend?

For us, there is not a perfect, straightforward answer to this question. Coffee roasting is definitely part of our calling, but we have only learned this in the past few years. After some twists and turns, we have begun to view our calling as more of an umbrella under which several things fit. I guess that umbrella would be living a life characterized by slowing down, being present, and cultivating beauty and life in a specific place. We are involved with a few different things that fall under this, but coffee roasting has been one of the largest parts of it for us, especially lately.

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2)  When did you first realize that this was your calling?

It’s interesting because for a long time I thought my one true calling was writing and teaching, and Sarah thought hers was to be a mother. We have only begun roasting coffee in the past few years. As my view of what I thought I would do with writing and teaching began to change, I started to develop a passion for roasting coffee. And as our kids have gotten older, Sarah has been longing for something different as well. So you could say this aspect of our calling only became clear three years ago. At the same time, if we step back and look at the bigger picture, coffee roasting falls under that umbrella that we now see has always defined our lives. It is just now becoming more clear.

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3)  People often become completely engrossed, losing track of time or outside concerns while performing tasks related to their calling.  This might be referred to as being “in the zone” or “flow.”  When do you experience this most often?

I am in the zone when I am thinking about how to roast a new coffee, tasting a new coffee, or talking about and educating people about coffee. Sarah experiences this when she is doing anything related to the artistic side of the business.

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4)  What is the greatest challenge or obstacle you’ve faced in pursuit of your life’s work?

There was a point where we hit a road block in what we felt like we were doing with our lives, and we sort of had to recalibrate everything. This is actually when we began roasting coffee and started to develop a different vision for our life. This has been very painful, and in some ways we are still working through it. At the same time, things are clearer now than they have been in a while, and the whole process has actually broken up a lot of ground in our lives, making way for new growth.

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5)  What has pursuing your Personal Legend taught you?

The world both does and does not really need us. There are much larger realities in this world than our dreams. And these realities can be very harsh at times. An overly ambitious ego and unrealistic goals often create a bubble waiting to burst. At the same time, dreams do matter, and pursuing something with passion and the intention to serve other people can change lives, including your own. For us, slowing down and learning to be present and considerate of small things has been critical. Our pursuit is teaching us contentment, gratitude, and attentiveness to the moment.  

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6)  What piece of advice can you offer to others seeking their true calling?

Make sure your true calling is actually true to who you are. Losing something you have hoped for can be very painful, but if the hope was false, you will eventually be better off without it. If you can find what is true about your hope, you can still hold on to that and move forward. Then you have to live it out however you can, even if it’s not full-time. I would say to think small at first, and be careful not to let others manipulate it or rob you of it. Looking too far ahead or comparing yourself to others tends only to set you back and never moves you forward.

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Are you following your Personal Legend?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

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