Option B

Option B

Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Summary

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.

Reviews

  • Option B is the single wisest book about grief I have ever found ... I have tried to think of anyone who would not find Option B invaluable at some point in their life, and I can’t.
    Decca Aitkenhead, Guardian

About the authors

Sheryl Sandberg

SHERYL SANDBERG is chief operating officer at Facebook and international best-selling author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Prior to Facebook, she was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. She previously served as chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department and began her career as an economist with the World Bank. She received B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from Harvard University. Sandberg serves on the boards of Facebook, The Walt Disney Company, Survey Monkey, ONE, and Women for Women International, and chairs the board of LeanIn.Org.
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Adam Grant

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist at Wharton, where he has been the top-rated professor for seven straight years. A #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of TED's most popular speakers, his books have sold more than 2 million copies and been translated into 35 languages, his talks have been viewed more than 25 million times, and his podcast WorkLife has topped the charts. His pioneering research has inspired people to rethink their fundamental assumptions about motivation, generosity, and creativity. He has been recognized as one of the world's 10 most influential management thinkers and Fortune's 40 under 40, and has been honored with distinguished scientific achievement awards from the American Psychological Association and the National Science Foundation.
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