Share

I just finished Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. As a side note, I keep wanting to call this book Plan B, which is messing with both my Amazon search results and Facebook ads.

Figure me out, algorithms! I dare you!

Option B is the saddest book I’ve ever read about resilience and joy. Sheryl Sandberg anchors this book with the death of her husband and her grief. Adam Grant weighs in with the science of resilience and joy. And it works because the book tells stories while also giving useful tips should your worst nightmare come to life.

Jesus. I won’t lie. This book is sad. But in a marketplace full of motivational speakers and happiness merchandise, this book delivers an honest conversation about how life sucks and then you die. If you want to thrive in-between those tough moments, you’ll need a new language around what it means to be happy and joyful.

In some ways, this book is like Year of Magical Thinking. It’s not uplifting, but it is interesting.

Sheryl Sandberg also offers advice on how to be helpful if your friends or colleagues are suffering. Chances are you’re doing it wrong, by the way. There’s no singular way to help a friend or colleague through grief and heartache, and most of us respond selfishly even if we mean well. Throughout the book, readers are given plenty of examples of how nice people get it wrong and make her grief worse.

But we also get some examples of how to do it right, thanks to stories about people who offer up the right thing to say at just the right moment. And with Adam Grant’s background in psychology, readers are given tips for helping people with everything from divorce to job loss to widowhood.

I’m happy to report that Adam Grant is speaking at WorkHuman, this year. I’m excited to hear more about his research behind the book. Well, excited is probably not the right word. I can’t say that I enjoyed Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. But I learned a ton about how to manage difficult situations, and I also feel better equipped for the moment when I have to face my own worst nightmare.

I’m not looking forward to that day, though.