Option B
Books, Reading and Book Reviews - Grieving and Grief Resources - Life and Inspiration

Option B

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you about a book I’ve been hearing about over the week. I find the name and what it talks about fascinating – Option B is a  book about facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy.

Option B

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and current COO of Facebook, 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: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy 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.

Here are some of the lessons from Option B.

The Importance of Resilience

Resilience is the strength and speed of our response to adversity. It’s a skillset we develop over the course of our lives, and there are concrete steps we can take to build resilience long before we face any kind of difficulty.

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.

The Elephant in the Room: Talking about loss and hardship

We often have a hard time talking about adversity—but staying silent can make our loved ones feel even more isolated after loss or hardship. The book offers simple ways to speak with empathy and honesty when our friends are suffering.

Finding Meaning

After loss or trauma, we all hope to bounce back. Some of us manage to bounce forward. Learn how helping others gives our suffering meaning, allowing us to grow from the most difficult experiences of our lives.


We all live some form of Option B. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m certainly going to get myself a copy. Click on the image for the link to the Kindle version of Option B.

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An inspirational writer, a creativity and writing trainer/coach, I write about life, gratitude, healing, wellness, relationships at Everyday Gyaan. I offer training/coaching to anyone looking to explore their creativity and heal through writing via The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, Bytes of Gyaan, on Substack.

9 Comments on “Option B

  1. I’m always amazed at how resilient people are when adversity faces them.
    This book is on my to read list.

  2. I know three women who were widowed suddenly and a fourth whose husband suffered a massive stroke and died three years later from cancer and complications from the stroke. In other words, I have a number of role models that make me realize I have to prepare for something like this happening. I thought that was not possible. It’s interesting that perhaps I can.

  3. this book is in my to-buy list. You are right when you say, we all have situations when we need to go for the option B. Resilience she says is like a muscle that can be built and I like that. Will pick this up soon.

  4. I think it is our fear of addressing the elephant in the room that makes it worse. Glad you shared this here.

    Sheryl’s an empowered woman. Her story is inspiring.

  5. I heard about this book when Sandberg shared she will write this. I have to buy this book and I will. Thanks for writing about the book and sharing the videos. I feel this book will help many.

  6. I have great respect for the ones who find their mettle after misfortune beckons their lives. It isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either. The stories of resilience of all such souls are truly inspiring.

  7. Wow, so much insight and wisdom. The best story that I know of resilience in the face of adversity is of my friend, Anita. In 2009, in her mid-40s, Anita suffered such a devastating stroke that her mother was told not to expect her to survive. Anita did survive. She was in two different nursing homes. At first, she couldn’t do anything at all. She continued to receive therapy. Then a nurse’s aide sold Anita a second hand laptop computer. Anita, who had been left handed until the stroke that affected the right hemisphere of her brain, learned how to type with her right hand. In the second nursing home, she met and fell in love with a fellow patient. They married and moved to an apartment, with their dog. Anita, who had to accept Plan B for her life, can now walk, with a walker. She has a positive attitude and posts uplifting things on facebook every day. She is amazing and awesome and I am honored that she is my friend.

  8. So glad to see you mention about this book, Corinne. Just finished reading it and it is definitely one of the most practical books on how to make the most of what we have right now. It was heartbreaking in parts but one that comes through as highly inspiring with so much honesty and depth. I went through an emotional roller coaster while reading the book just reliving what Sheryl might have gone through when her world came crashing down. Highly recommended read for everyone.

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