Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

I plan to post the May 2017 newsletter next week about Sheryl Sandberg’s truly useful new book: Option B: Facing Adversity,Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. Very much in alignment with everything taught here about recovering resilience.

Sheryl Sandberg’s beloved husband Dave dropped dead of cardiac arrest almost exactly two years ago. Sheryl’s personal journey through devastating loss and grief, juggling responsibility for their two young children and her own life’s work (chief operating officer of Facebook), is poignantly portrayed, expanded by the remarkable stories of many other people who also faced tragedy, found support, found strength, found their way.

Sheryl learned from her good friend and co-author Adam Grant to use many of the tools that positive psychology has to offer, including:

Besides practicing gratitude for all the amazing qualities of her children and deep support from friends and colleagues, Sheryl also learned to keep a “how did I contribute today” list. Adam found in his research that gratitude, as essential as it is to keep a grip on the larger perspective, is itself a passive receptive practice. We are grateful for what we have been given and what fuels our well-being, but that doesn’t significantly grow a sense of confidence or effort. But identifying contributions we make to other’s well-being can help us claim a sense of confidence in how we are engaging and coping. Keeping both the gratitude list and the contributions list keeps an important balance of goodness flowing in and goodness flowing out, which can help keep us afloat when days are dark and the sorrow seemingly endless.

More next Monday….