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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Andy on 04-26-17
I couldn’t put my iPhone down!
I started listening to this audiobook the evening I downloaded it and found it so compelling that I had finished by the next evening.
This is an excellent book; informative and well-written. Sheryl's personal story of loss, interwoven with the stories of other survivors’ hardships and tragedies, combined well with Adam’s in-depth understanding of resilience literature. It makes for an absorbing read (or, in the case of an audiobook, an absorbing "listen").
Their book includes important facts and strategies, intermixed with thought-provoking quotes, humor, and deeply personal stories -- the latter of which thoroughly held my attention. These personal stories provide concrete evidence that resilience is not a fixed personality trait, that there is much we can do to promote our own post-traumatic growth. I am especially appreciative that the authors emphasized there is also much that friends, family members, worksites, and on-line communities can do to promote such growth.
Thanks also to the authors for highlighting the ongoing plight of refugees throughout the world and the resilience they must demonstrate simply to survive in truly horrendous circumstances.
This was far more than a self-help book describing strategies for promoting resilience; there are many such books available and some are excellent. Instead, I view this book as a spark, a catalyst leading to many more critical conversations and initiatives.
I will share that I am a Health Psychologist at a major teaching hospital where I have the privilege of working with individuals suffering from a variety of serious medical disorders, such as heart disease, COPD, dysphonia, and cancer. I also teach resilience strategies to fellow healthcare providers, with the goal of supporting their personal growth and, at a minimum, preventing professional burnout. I share none of this to feed my ego. Instead, I wish to convey that my work in this rapidly evolving field leads me to read stacks of technical articles, white papers and edited professional books on the topics discussed in this book. I also frequently read books written for a broader audience, specifically seeking out those I would add to my recommended reading list for my patients and fellow healthcare providers.
Option B will definitely be high on my list.
40 of 43 people found this review helpful
By Luke Murray on 07-21-17
It's a memoir first, an informational book second
This was a good memoir about a very difficult time in her life. It was well written and thoughtful, but as memoirs often are it was much more free-flowing than I expected. I thought this would be much more similar to Angela Duckworth's "Grit". Organized and informational with a narrative to tie things together a little bit more. It was much more focused on her healing process than on an organized set of principles to help others do the same (although these principles certainly were there). I have a newfound respect for Cheryl Sandberg, and I wish her and all of her efforts (along with Adam Grant's, both of whose books I've read and thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from) the best. I just don't think what was advertised was delivered to the level I thought it would be.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful