From Facebook's COO and Wharton's top-rated professor, the number-one 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.
Editors Select, April 2017 - It took me several tries to make it out of the introduction of Option B. I lost my father a few weeks after Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband, and her grief - which she bravely chronicles in the intro - was too palpable for me. Even if you're not grieving, or if you've been blessed to never lose a loved one, this is a book you should listen to. At some point in your life, option A will not be a possibility, and you will need to accept and own option B. Sandberg, and her writing partner and friend Adam Grant (a psychologist and professor at UPenn), teach that resilience is something you can build up. When you're grieving, it can feel like you'll never have a happy day again. But Sandberg is proof that joy beyond a loss of this magnitude is possible, and she and Grant are here to help you be resilient. I still had to pause a lot while listening - the tears kept coming - but it was worth it. Thank you to Sheryl and Adam for putting my own feelings into words and gifting me with additional tools to heal and grow. Katie, Audible Editor
"Option B is as hopeful as it is heartbreaking. Here are stories of sometimes unimaginable pain and loss, but also of how human beings nonetheless have the capacity to endure and even thrive. This book is not just an absorbing read. It also provides lessons that everyone needs to learn." (Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal)
"Illuminating, original, and deeply inspiring, Option B is one part riveting memoir, one part heal-your-heart boot camp, one part stories of others who learned to thrive in the face of profound loss: a practical, vital contribution to the literature on loss and resilience." (Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild)
"I recommend this inspiring book to everyone around the world. None of us can escape sadness, loss, or life's disappointments, so the best option is to find our Option B." (Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner)
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Stop at the end of Chapter 6
Finding Post, Even Pre, Traumatic Hope