Option B

Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

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Pub Date 24 Apr 2017 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2020


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.

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...

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ISBN 9780753548271
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed both Lean In and Originals, the authors' previous books, and I knew that I would be interested in their next book as well. I am grateful to NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant's new book, Option B.

This book is unique in that it combines the personal story of Sheryl Sandberg losing her husband and how she and her family coped with this loss, along with research on how to develop resilience and strength in the face of grief and trauma and come out on the other side. I won't state clichés about how adversity makes you stronger, and neither does the book, but the personal anecdotes paired with research from studies on developing resilience helps you have hope, for yourself or for others in your life who are suffering.

In some ways it is helpful to see that even those who live a very different life from us are affected in the same ways by adversity. The advice and perspective in the book is extremely helpful no matter what you are struggling with, and I found myself wishing this book had been available sooner. The only drawback - the abrupt shifts from the personal story to research data was a little jarring at times, but overall, highly recommended.

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