Booking under: Nicole
Aloha everyone! Since Keith shared how he’s inspired by Sir Anthony Kenny’s A New History of Western Philosophy a couple months ago, we’ve been quiet in this category (yes we know that). Before you wonder why, it’s now my time to disclose what’s on my bookshelves!
As Designing Your Life is my regular reading this year, I also read other books in my leisure time. My most recently completed one is Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. You will not be surprised by the first name if you have been following my posts closely.
What’s the book about?
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, were one of the most respected Executive couples in Silicon Valley. One day, while the couple was vacationing in Mexico with their kids left in California, Dave aged 47 died suddenly after falling off a treadmill. This accident traumatized Sheryl and her children. Two weeks after losing the pillar of the family, Sheryl was looking for someone to cover Dave in a father-son activity. While her friend, Phil, managed to come up with a back up plan, Sheryl still wanted Dave back (apparently) and he replied “Option A is not available. So let’s kick the shit out of option B” – the origin of the book title.
As the cover suggests, this book is about facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy. It depicts Sheryl’s psychological journey from refusing to accept her husband’s death to slowly acknowledging the brutal reality and from unwilling to speak about the sorrow to overcoming the hardship with family and friends’ support. Joined by Adam Grant, the authors shared what it takes to recover from life-shattering experiences and how to develop resilience via Sheryl’s first person experience.
What Are Your Favorite Parts Of The Book?
In the past, I admired Sheryl Sandberg because of her entrepreneurial mindset, business intelligence, and passion in elevating women’s presence in the workplace. After finishing Option B, I admire her big character and capacity of perseverance to rebound from the most devastating thing that could ever happen to anyone. I cannot imagine how hard it is for Sheryl to share with the public what she had gone through, but she opened up her heart publicly and exposed her feelings and vulnerability to encourage people who are in the same shoes with her. As the stories got personal (especially when it’s related to family and the impact to her children), I also felt emotional as a reader myself and would be upfront with you that the book did bring me both laughter and tears.
I am reluctant to pick my favorite part of the book because every chapter is great learning. If I were to hard pick one, I would say chapter 7 – raising resilient kids. After surviving through the waves of anxiety and developing resilience within herself, Sheryl is determined to relearn how to do parenting alone and apply the same concept in educating her children into resilient kids. While losing their father is like the world turning upside down to them, she shared four core beliefs that ultimately bring glimpses of light to her kids’ lives.
- They have some control over their lives
- They can learn from failure
- They matter as human beings
- They have real strengths to rely on and share
Sheryl also brought up a good point that resilience usually depends on the opportunities kids have and starts with their parents who would then pass it along to their next generation. This is a great reminder for me to be a role model for my children in the future, educate them rightfully, and nurture the relationship I have with them. Love and laugh were found missing when Dave passed away. It is resilience that motivated their family to love and laugh again. They may feel weak as individuals on some days, but as a family, they are always stronger together.
From being one of the world’s most successful business women to having an unwanted identity, grieving widow, Sheryl revealed the step by step emotional roller coaster she went through and shared practical suggestions in building a way forward when life seems to be a disappointment. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be stronger and braver in their every day lives and be inspired by her conventional wisdom.
Finally, I would like to share one of the quotes in the book that I find true as I age – “As we get older, we define happiness less in terms of excitement and more in terms of peacefulness. Reverend Veronica Goines sums this up as, “Peace is joy at rest, and joy is peace on its feet.” Have a good weekend, everyone!