Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Bestseller Shares Ways to Find Joy After Adversity

When Facebook COO and all-around superwoman Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband at the young age of 37, she collapsed—crying in board meetings and barely functioning, she recalls. But as with everything else in her life, after allowing a short time for grief, she “leaned in,” accepting what happened and moving forward with a new normal after her loss.

Sandberg captures these sentiments in her bestseller, “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.” One thing she wants people to know in her grief memoir is that mourning—or any kind of adversity for that matter—is not personal, pervasive, or permanent. After a loss of any kind, you can (and will) feel good again, she says. At first, happiness will come in brief flashes and, at some point, you will find joy in “Option B.”

Find Joy in Storytelling

Most of us are not like Sandberg, with a job at the world’s top social media site, a large network of wealthy friends and business contacts, and the resources to publish a memoir. But our stories are just as important.

Here are just a few ways you can use your own stories to help your loved ones “lean in” and embrace Option B after loss or adversity.

Share Your Life in Wishes

Use a series of Lifetime Wishes to share your life story in words, photos, and videos. Begin with an outline of significant moments, taking care to spotlight the people who mattered in those moments:

  • the first day of school you can recall
  • a day with your childhood best friend
  • high school graduation
  • beginning college
  • your first boyfriend or girlfriend
  • your first job
  • your first vehicle

As you capture memories and write with a focus on the happiest highlights, remember to weave in tips and guidance you took away from each situation, as well as the people who affected your life.

Recap Your Greatest Successes

Part of embracing Option B is celebrating achievements—perhaps with a different perspective of what defines a worthwhile accomplishment. Celebrate your life in Wishes that share your greatest honors.

If it feels uncomfortable to brag, frame these Wishes in the form of lessons you recognized on your path to success, which your loved ones can learn from.

Talk About Loss and How It Affected You

One thing Sandberg’s book has done is get people talking about loss and adversity in a more natural way. Share a Wish to be unlocked when you’re gone, or when your loved one is feeling a sense of loss.

Talk about your own loss, how it affected you, and how you found your own Option B. Whether your share your sentiments about the loss of a pet, a job, or a loved one, your Wish will remind others they aren’t alone.

You don’t have to be rich and famous to leave a legacy:
Start sharing your stories now!