Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam M. Grant.
“From Facebook’s COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.” Goodreads.
Sheryl Sandberg suffered a tragic and unthinkable loss when her husband died on vacation, and just like anyone else, she had to develop coping strategies and solutions to problems in order to work through her grief, comfort her children and get back to living. Her personal story is honest, devastating and inspiring as she, along with her friend and co-writer, Adam Grant, present a lot of great information and ideas for those who have experienced a loss, also providing advice and suggestions for friends, family and coworkers on how to be supportive and understanding in Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.
The book has expertly woven Sandberg’s personal stories with a more technical approach to grief. Based on research, Sandberg and Grant suggest recovery from a tragedy can be stunted if you tend to think what happened is your fault, if you believe the bad thing that happened will affect all areas of your life and if you think the feelings of unhappiness will never end. Once you realize none of these are true, you are better able to cope and are on the road to recovery.
They talk about the benefits of journaling to work through feelings and how to focus on the positives. Sandberg says “Journaling helped me make sense of the past and rebuild my self confidence to navigate the present and future.” “Adam suggested I write 3 things I have done well today”. They suggest that “contributions are active” and they “remind us that we can make a difference”. Also the suggestion of writing down 3 moments of joy experienced each day helps to remember there are still good things happening.
Another area of helpful advice revolves around building resilience in children and helping them develop 4 core beliefs: “1) they have some control over their lives, 2) they can learn from failure, 3) they matter as human beings, and 4) they have real strengths to rely on and share.” Sheryl shares conversations with her children and although each person and situation is unique, it gives the reader ideas of how to help children process a death and cope with a painful situation.
In the wake of tragedy and loss we also learn about some possible positive repercussions. At this crucial time there is opportunity to change your thought process and dig deep. Post traumatic growth includes “finding personal strength, gaining appreciation, forming deeper relationships, discovering more meaning in life and seeing new possibilities.”
In Option B there are lots of great examples based on experts and research of how to face adversity head on and come out ok on the other side. In addition, Sandberg talks about her experiences, how she made decisions about the children without her beloved partner, how humor is necessary and plays an important role in resilience and what is helpful to receive in terms of support and kind words from friends, coworkers and others.
This inspirational book is Sheryl Sandberg’s personal story along with fantastic suggestions for things to do and ways to think about life when faced with adversity. It is a book everyone should read…a great gift as well.
As stated in Goodreads:
After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.
Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.
Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.
We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.
Sheryl received a BA summa cum laude from Harvard University and an MBA with highest distinction from Harvard Business School.
Sheryl is the co-author of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resillience, and Finding Joy with Wharton professor and bestselling author Adam Grant, which will be released April 24, 2017. She is also the author of the bestsellers Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and Lean In for Graduates. She is the founder of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to build a more equal and resilient world through two key initiatives, LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org (launching April 2017). Sheryl serves on the boards of Facebook, the Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, ONE, and SurveyMonkey.
To learn more about Adam Grant click HERE.