Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy

Option B Sandberg Grant (Aug 2017) This book weaves together one woman’s personal journey through loss and grief with compelling research about how we cultivate resiliency and can actually experience growth following great tragedy.

Option B is every bit as good as I expected it would be. I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, and I’ve read Adam Grant’s books Give and Take and Originals. I would highly recommend them all. These two authors, who are also friends, have put together a very readable book that plumbs the depth of human loss in the most personal of ways. Sandberg has bared the raw emotions of losing her husband unexpectedly and finding her way forward through the fog of grief to reshape her life as a single parent of two young children.

The book is much broader than just her personal experience, but her journey is the common thread that connects excellent research on resiliency and perseverance together with other people’s experiences and stories about overcoming adversity. The book is told from Sandberg’s perspective, but it is very much a collaborative effort.

There is great practical perspective in the concepts they put forward here. One that really resonated with me is how we are held back by “the three P’s” – Personalizing, Permanence and Pervasiveness. These things stand in the way of a “growth mindset” and become a hurdle to resilience. When we personalize things that happen to us as something specific to us, when we believe that we can’t change how we think or feel, and that this terrible thing that has happened affects everything else in our lives – that stops us from believing we can move forward.

Resilience is the foundation of happiness. We can’t control many of the things that happen to us in the course of our lifetime, so we need to get better at how we respond to what happens to us. I think this book is a great primer on how to strengthen our resiliency muscle. I would highly recommend it.

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