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Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

#1 New York Times Best Seller

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.
 
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.An Amazon Best Book of April 2017: After the unexpected passing of her beloved husband, Facebook COO and bestselling author of Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg, feared that she and her children would never find joy again. Fortunately this fear was unfounded. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy–co-authored with psychologist and friend Adam Grant–shows you how Sandberg, and many others who have overcome a wide range of profound hardships, triumphed over tragedy. The book posits that it’s helpful to think of resilience like a muscle, one that atrophies in the calm between the storms of our lives. But there are things we can do to develop it, so we’re better prepared when adversity strikes. In America, culture can put a kink in this plan. Processing a painful event can be hindered when you’re wired not to talk about it. We all know that when someone asks how we’re doing, the expected response is “fine,” no matter if we’ve just lost a limb, or had a cancer scare. We will grin, and we will bear it, and we will go back to work too soon and burst into tears in the copy room when confronted by a malevolent stapler (or maybe that’s just me). Recently, Sandberg helped to enact a new employee benefit at Facebook: 20 days of paid bereavement leave, twice the amount that was offered previously. As she explains in Option B, it’s the humane thing to do, and it also makes good business sense; compassionate companies engender more loyal employees. In this way, Option B is more than a little revolutionary. It challenges us to change systems that don’t always take our humanness into account. And that’s something we need to do on a personal level as well. None of us are immune to misfortune and heartbreak. We need to cut ourselves some slack when times get tough, and, as Sandberg discovered, flip the golden rule: When a loved one is in distress, instead of treating them how you would want to be treated, consider how they want to be treated, which may be quite different. Option B starts an (oftentimes) uncomfortable but important conversation. If we lean in to the numerous lessons it has on offer, there’s a lot more joy to be found. –Erin Kodicek, The Amazon Book Review#1 New York Times Best Seller

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.
 
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.

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3 comments

  1. Lucille M. Zimmerman Lucille M. Zimmerman
    358 of 368 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Important topic that most people don’t know about., April 25, 2017
    By 
    Lucille M. Zimmerman (Colorado) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    I’m not finished but I wanted to chime in right away. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor, part-time teacher at Colorado Christian University, and published author. I live in the Columbine neighborhood and worked with police and firefighters at Ground Zero so healing from trauma is of huge interest to me.

    I’ve spent the last four years researching and writing about the powerful topic of Posttraumatic Growth. (I wish I could tell you the title of my book but it remains in the hands of agents and publishers. I hope it gets to be born someday.)

    In the meantime I want to shout hurray and yeehaw on almost every single page of this book.

    The smashing point of this book: All people can heal, and some people are even launched to a more meaningful place after experiencing trauma; clinical research shows how.

    Growth is actually more common than the much better known and far better studied posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The challenge is to see the opportunity presented by seismic events. After trauma, people need hope. In the aftermath of the tragedy, people need to know there is something better.

    Following a traumatic experience, most people experience a range of problems: Trouble sleeping, nightmares, agitation, flashbacks, emotional numbness, avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, anxiety, anger, guilt, hyper-vigilance, depression, isolation, suicidal tendencies, etc. Until recently the entire discussion of the human response to trauma ended with a summation of the hardships incurred by trauma. But as it turns out, a traumatic event is not simply a hardship to be overcome.

    Instead, it is transformative.

    Trauma survivors and their family and friends need to know there is another side to trauma. Strange as it may sound, half of all sufferers emerge from the trauma stronger, more focused, and with a new perspective on their future. In numerous studies, about half of all trauma survivors report positive changes as a result of their experience. Sometimes the changes are small (life has more meaning, or the survivor feels closer to loved ones) and other times they are massive, sending people on new career paths. The worst things that happen to us might put us on a path to the best things that will ever happen to us. A brush with trauma often pushes trauma survivors to face their own mortality and to find a more meaningful and fulfilling understanding of who they are and how they want to live.

    To be clear, growth does not undo loss, and it does not eliminate adversity. Posttraumatic growth is not the same as an increase in well-being or a decrease in distress. And even for those who do experience growth, suffering is not mitigated in the aftermath of tragedy. Growth may make the pain meaningful and bearable, but it does not deny the hurt.

    For decades, nearly all the psychological research into trauma and recovery has focused on the debilitating problems that people face, but Option B speaks of the paths people can take to heal from their experiences and discover new meaning in their lives.

    Just this morning a blog reader wrote to me and said she feels stuck because of her father’s suicide many years ago. The first thing I did was tell her about your book.

    I have been, and will be, recommending this book to friends and clients.

    Thank you Sheryl and Adam.

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  2. Cellodiva Cellodiva
    627 of 705 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Was disappointed in this book., April 26, 2017
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    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (Kindle Edition)
    I ordered this book because the blurb on line looked like something that would help me with my journey. I am a widow of 6 months, my husband passed of a fast heart attack. I too, found him in bed and administered CPR to no avail. While I identified with the steps of the author, I could not relate to her presentation. For many of us of limited resources,the journey is quite different. I do not know how I would have afforded to bring his body home from a vacation in Mexico, his graveside service was $12,000, which will be paid off in 10 years. I certainly cannot take a lot of time from work, or fall asleep at a meeting. I appreciate that she has worked hard, but her journey is not even close to what many of us have, we will loose our home, and our families cannot just come out for a month, we have to take care of our own children. Therapy is expensive. I would venture she did not have to worry about her family’s health insurance, many of us do. My husband worked for a major retailer and his company cut off spouse/family insurance 24 hours after he died. I am hopeful that one day we will all have some peace, but most of us are a long way away…
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  3. carilynp carilynp
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    AND FINDING JOY, you could say that I felt connected to …, May 20, 2017
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    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (Kindle Edition)

    Given that I highlighted a passage in almost every other chapter in Sheryl Sandberg’s OPTION B: FACING ADVERSITY, BUILDING RESILIENCE, AND FINDING JOY, you could say that I felt connected to her and pretty much everything that she had to say. While I haven’t lost a spouse and certainly my life was not upended like hers was, I unfortunately know grief, and it has impacted me in ways that I didn’t see coming and had a hard time coping with it. There are two major points in the book that Sandberg addressed that I felt especially comforted by. By comfort, I mean validated. But first, I want to say to those who might think that you have to be suffering from the grief of losing a spouse to want to read this book or to gain any insight from it, it’s not the case. Not only is this book not exclusive to this particular group or to those grieving or those having grieved in the past for anyone, whether a parent, sibling, or close friend, it is for anyone who has suffered a tragedy such as a trauma, disease, divorce, or other life change that has altered their existence. Together with a friend, who is a psychologist, Adam Grant, who helped Sandberg after her husband died, they co-wrote about feelings that you experience, how to ask for what you need from family and friends, how to resume life as you know it in a new world as life as it is now, along with sharing numerous cases of those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, as well as those who have endured terrible tragedies of other kinds.

    Sandberg, naturally writes about how challenging it was just to come to terms with the sudden loss of her husband and how she was going to explain the news to her young children. How they were going to get through the funeral, how would she, this strong woman who wrote about co-parenting and working in this modern world, do the same as a single parent, how she would face her colleagues at work, when was the right time to go back to work. So many unknowns. Her new world was so unfamiliar. The things that struck me were her feelings about how isolated she felt. She has a big extended family, including her husband’s. Many friends. Many work friends. Yet, she felt alone. People were scared to talk to her. Or if they asked how she was doing, they didn’t want to hear that she was not ok. It was ‘depressing.’ Asking how are you doing, is not really inquiring about the person on a personal level. You know they are not ok. Try to phrase it to the here and now. How did you get through today? Many people offer to do something but not many just do it. When you lose a loved one, she writes, and this is so true, don’t say “What can I do for you?” Just do something. Leave food for the person’s family so they don’t have to think about cooking, send some beautiful flowers, bring an uplifting book, take their kids out if they are up for it, so that your friend can rest, anything even taking on the most mundane task, just something that shows you care, that they didn’t have to ask for. Sandberg talks about a friend of a friend who lost a loved one and a friend showed up every day in the lobby of his building and asked what he didn’t want on his burger. He wasn’t imposing, wasn’t asking to see his friend, just let him know that he was bringing him lunch.

    In the past, before I experienced grief first-hand, I am sure that I was guilty of asking the too general “how are you?” and “what can I do for you?” without ill intentions, but because I didn’t know what to do. Sandberg is well aware that most people do not act to hurt you. As she says, “they’re not piling it on,” but that is how it feels. I do know that when I did offer simple acts of kindness, it went a long way, and vice versa. I can remember a time when a dear friend’s father passed away and friends and family gathered at their house. I asked what her father’s favorite dessert was. Blueberry pie. I promptly baked one and brought it over. Her mother told me numerous times over the years how comforting that was to her. The same has been done for me after losing my mother. A friend knew that there was a cookie recipe in my mom’s cookbook that was a cookie ‘made with love’ and she sent home a batch in my son’s backpack the week after her funeral. I was so touched and comforted at the same time. I will never forget that gesture of kindness. Another friend, would send me a note every week, just to tell me that she was thinking of me. Having endured much heartache, herself, she knew that once the period of Shiva is over, people don’t often check on you. She continued to check on me and this made me feel not only loved but as if she were hugging me. The day after my father died, I received a text from a good friend, who lives in the city where I do, and offered to come to Chicago, where my father lived. I will never forget how deeply this touched me. To know that a friend would do this for me, without my asking. Just as two of my closest, oldest friends did exactly that, flew…

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