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Non-Career Advice: Alex Feder.

Non-Career Advice is a series that asks people - young, old, and in a range of occupations - for words of wisdom unrelated to work, career-building, dollars, or getting ahead.

Name: Alex Feder / Musician 
Also: Songwriter / traveler / tripper of the light fantastic

Avoid the second arrow. "Possibly the most profound thing I've learned since moving from New York to LA — where I'm becoming a total cheeseball Angeleno — is a tenet within Buddhism that's referred to as the "second arrow." 

I'll explain it like this: often, life shoots us with a painful 'arrow' — not necessarily an enormous tragedy, but some littler nuisance that can lead to a bad day. Let's say you're working from home and there's a dog barking all day long next door. The dog, in this case, is that arrow. But the thing is, no matter how annoyed you are, the dog is still going to bark. No amount of rage or frustration is going to change that. And the more we let our negative feelings overwhelm us, the worse our day becomes. This negative reaction is essentially like shooting ourselves with a second arrow, and it's often more painful than the first.

The first arrow might have been out of our control, but the second is ours to dodge. Dogs bark. People are rude. Commutes get delayed. It's important to realize that while we often can't change those things, we can be mindful of our reactions to them. If we stop dwelling on anger, or how much we wish things were different, then we are able to prevent one arrow wound from turning into two. And life goes on."

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Thanks so much, Alex! More from the Non-Career Advice series, here.  Photo by Brian Michael Henderson.
 

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