Review: Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

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If there’s one thing I really admire about people, it’s their ability to experience life-shattering events and still progress in life. Life-shattering experiences come in different forms whether it be illness, unemployment, sexual assault, natural disasters and even the violence of war.

Option B is Sheryl Sandberg’s story on how she overcame the sudden death of her husband. The book combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam Grant’s eye-opening research and explores how people overcome different life-shattering experiences.

I really liked that Option B was written from Sheryl’s perspective. It felt as if I was welcomed into her life focusing on how the death of her husband affected her and her children’s lives. Like many life-shattering experiences, the death not only impacted her personal life but the other aspects of their lives too such as school, work and friends. Option B shows that there is hope and that it is indeed possible to find joy after facing a tragedy.

What sets Option B apart from other self-help books is that it offers sound advice on how to overcome tragedies without coming across as condescending. I’ve read many self-help books with the one-size-fits-all approach that I absolutely hated! Often the approaches offered by those books were overly-broad because the author tries to reach as big an audience as possible with one collective technique. That approach forgets one important thing about people: we’re individuals and we handle experiences differently. With Option B I found myself able to apply a lot of the techniques and approaches taken by people affected by tragedies written about in this book. By offering different techniques, Option B offers the reader a wider range of techniques to apply to suit their needs.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from Option B:

“Loss, grief and disappointment are profoundly personal. We all have unique circumstances and reactions to them.”

“Self-confidence is critical to happiness and success. When we lack it, we dwell on our flaws. We fail to embrace new challenges and learn new skills.”

“The sad truth is that adversity is not evenly distributed evenly amongst us; marginalised and disenfranchised groups have more to battle and more to grieve.”

Overall, Option B is a great motivational book for anyone who has faced a life-shattering event. It contains sound advice with a number of easily-applicable techniques to overcome tragedies.

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