Holy Everything Reads: Option B

Let me tell you about the book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.

It's my book group pick this year for the book group I rejoined a few months ago (whoo-hoo! love those ladies), so I wanted to get it read early so I could start chewing on some discussion questions.

Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. She's also the author of Lean In and mother of two young children. In 2015, her husband Dave died suddenly while they were on vacation in Mexico. He was in his mid-40s. Sandberg writes Option B out of a very authentic, vulnerable place. It's her story and personal learnings alongside real research and psychology.

She is so very self-aware in her writing. She admits that after Dave's death, she and her children had access to many resources that the average person doesn't have. Nevertheless, grief and death are still so hard...so matter how much wealth or power you have amassed.

It's so very inspiring to me that she took at the things she learned about adversity, resilience and joy and boiled it down into a resource that accessible to all. This book would be an especially helpful read if #1) you're in the midst of a major life transition or trauma, #2) you know someone who is, or #3) you work with other people and want to be a more compassion human.

So basically everyone would benefit from this book because everyone experiences adversity in life! And most of us go through periods of very intense challenge and adversity somewhere along the way.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book with the bolded ones being the quotes I found most personally impactful:
-Grief is a demanding companion.

-Resilience is the strength and speed of our response to adversity—and we can build it. It isn’t about having a backbone. It’s about strengthening the muscles around our backbone.

-The sad truth is that adversity is not evenly distributed among us; marginalized and disenfranchised groups have more to battle and more to grieve.

-Three P’s can stunt recovery: (1) personalization—the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness—the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence—the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever.

-He suggests that “the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. To literally say the words: I acknowledge your pain. I’m here with you.”

-There are two different emotional responses to the pain of others: empathy, which motivates us to help, and distress, which motivates us to avoid.

-There’s no one way to grieve and there’s no one way to comfort.

-Psychologist Kristin Neff describes self-compassion as offering the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to a friend. It allows us to respond to our own errors with concern and understanding rather than criticism and shame.

-Self-compassion is associated with greater happiness and satisfaction, fewer emotional difficulties, and less anxiety.

-In a more recent study, people spent five to ten minutes a day writing about things that went “really well” and why; within three weeks, their stress levels dropped, as did their mental and physical health complaints.

-“When we are no longer able to change a situation,” psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl observed, “we are challenged to change ourselves.”

-“I am more vulnerable than I thought, but much stronger than I ever imagined.”

-In Viktor Frankl’s words, “In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.”

-Although it can be extremely difficult to grasp, the disappearance of one possible self can free us to imagine a new possible self.
-“How we spend our days,” author Annie Dillard writes, is “how we spend our lives.”

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