Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
#1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon -- a powerful, inspiring and practical guide to finding resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks
In 2015 Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly at the age of forty-eight. Sandberg and her two young children were devastated, and she was certain that their lives would never have real joy or meaning again.
Just weeks later, Sandberg was talking with a friend about the first father-child activity without a father. They came up with a plan for someone to fill in. “But I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend put his arm around her and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”
Everyone experiences some form of Option B. We all deal with loss: jobs lost, loves lost, lives lost. The question is not whether these things will happen but how we face them when they do.
Thoughtful, honest, revealing and warm, OPTION B weaves Sandberg’s experiences coping with adversity with new findings from Adam Grant and other social scientists. The book features stories of people who recovered from personal and professional hardship, including illness, injury, divorce, job loss, sexual assault and imprisonment. These people did more than recover—many of them became stronger.
OPTION B offers compelling insights for dealing with hardships in our own lives and helping others in crisis. It turns out that post-traumatic growth is common—even after the most devastating experiences many people don’t just bounce back but actually bounce forward. And pre-traumatic growth is also possible: people can build resilience even if they have not experienced tragedy. Sandberg and Grant explore how we can raise strong children, create resilient communities and workplaces, and find meaning, love and joy in our lives.
“Dave’s death changed me in very profound ways,” Sandberg writes. “I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface and breathe again.”
“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
“Remarkable, generous, honest, [and] almost unbearably poignant … This is a book that will be quietly passed from hand to hand, and it will surely offer great comfort to its intended readers.”
New York Times
“It's a humbling - and tearjerking - story of humanity.”
Marisa Bate, The Pool
“I recommend this inspiring book to everyone around the world. None of us can escape sadness, loss, or life’s disappointments, so the best option is to find our Option B.”
MALALA YOUSAFZAI, Nobel Peace Prize winner
“Sheryl writes about her own heartbreaking experience with a rare honesty. Then she and Adam translate her personal story into a powerful, practical guide for anyone trying to build resilience in their own lives, communities, and companies. It’s hard enough to resonate with readers. It’s even harder to help take concrete steps towards a better future. Option B does both.”
BILL AND MELINDA GATES, co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“Thoughtful, insightful, and compelling. Both individually and collectively, we all need to understand the power of rehabilitation, recovery, and redemption if we are to overcome adversity. This incredible book doesn’t avoid the loss and tragedy we all sometimes encounter, but it is animated by a resolve that is both inspiring and instructive.”
BRYAN STEVENSON, author of Just Mercy and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative
“Option B is as hopeful as it is heartbreaking. Here are stories of sometimes unimaginable pain and loss, but also of how human beings nonetheless have the capacity to endure and even thrive. This book is not just an absorbing read. It also provides lessons that everyone needs to learn.”
ATUL GAWANDE, author of Being Mortal
“Illuminating, original, and deeply inspiring, Option B is one part riveting memoir, one part heal-your-heart boot camp, one part stories of others who learned to thrive in the face of profound loss: a practical, vital contribution to the literature on loss and resilience.”
CHERYL STRAYED, author of Wild
“As someone who has spent the last 25 years immersed in the field of grief and bereavement I didn’t think I’d learn very much from Option B, but I did. It gave me useful ideas, ways of thinking and small steps that help rebuild a life after the death of someone we love. Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant have succeeded in combining useful information with heartfelt stories, which is illuminating and helpful. It is a book I highly recommend.”
JULIA SAMUEL, author of Grief Works