Book: Option B

optionb“Option B: Facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy” By Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  • “Resilience is the strength and the speed of our response to adversity–and we can build it. It isn’t about having a backbone. It’s about the strengthening the muscle around our backbone.”
  • “three P’s can stunt recovery: (I) personalization–the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness–the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence–the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever.”
  • “The first noble truth of Buddhism is that all life involves suffering. Aging, sickness, and loss are inevitable. And while life include some joyful moments, despite our attempts to make them last, they too will dissolve.”
  • “when we accept this noble truth, it actually lessens our pain because we end up ‘making friends with our own demons.’ I wasn’t going out for a drink with my demons, but as I accept them, they did haunt me less.”
  • “dealing with grief was like building physical stamina: the more you exercise, the faster your heart rate recovers after it is elevated. And sometimes during especially vigorous physical activity, you discover strength you didn’t know you had.”
  • “Still, there’s powerful evidence that opening up about traumatic events can improve mental and physical health. Speaking to a friend or family member often helps people understand their own emotions and feel understood.”
  • “the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. To literally say the words: I acknowledge your pain. I’m here with you.”
  • “There are two different emotional responses to the pain of others: empathy, which motivates us to help, and distress, which motivates us to avoid.”
  • “For friends who turn away in times of difficulty, putting distance between themselves and emotional pain feels like self preservation. these are the people who see someone drowning in sorrow and then worry, perhaps subconsciously, that they will be dragged under too. Others get overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness; they feel there’s nothing they can say or do to make things better, so they choose to say and do nothing. But what we learn from the stress experiment is that the button didn’t need to stop the noise to relieve the pressure. Simply showing up for a friend can make a huge difference.”
  • “Growing up, I was taught to follow the Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated. But when someone is suffering, instead of following the Golden Rule, we need to follow the Platinum Rule: treat others as they want to be treated.”
  • “I learned that friendship isn’t only what you can give, it’s what you’re able to receive.”
  • “As people mature, they focus on a smaller set of meaningful relationships, and the quality of friendships becomes a more important factor in happiness than the quantity.”
  • “Self-compassion comes from recognizing that our imperfections are part of being human”
  • “It’s about making sure that we don’t beat ourselves up so badly that we damage our future. It helps us realize that doing a bad thing does not necessarily make us a bad person.”
  • “Blaming our actions rather than our character allows us to feel guilt instead of shame.”
  • “Although it can be hard to shake, guilt keeps us striving to improve. People becomes motivated to repair the wrongs of their past and make better choices in the future.”
  • “Shame has the opposite effect: it makes people feel small and worthless, leading them to attack in anger or shrink away in self-pity.”
  • “Writing can be a powerful tool for learning self-compassion.”
  • “Labeling negative emotions makes them easier to deal with.”
  • “Immediately after a tragedy or crisis, journaling can backfire: the event is too raw for some to process.”
  • “Self-confidence is critical to happiness and success.”
  • “In one experiment, people wrote down three things that went well and why everyday for a week. Over the next six months, they became happier than a group writing about early memories. In a more recent study, people septa fixe to ten minutes a day writing about things that went ‘really well’ and why; within three weeks, their stress level dropped, as did their mental and physical health complaints.”
  • “Joe learned that post-traumatic growth could take five different forms: finding personal strength, gaining appreciation, forming deeper relationships, discovering more meaning in life, and seeing new possibilities.”
  • “When people endure tragedies together or endure the same tragedy, it can fortify the bonds between them.”
  • “In companies, nonprofits, government, and the military, he finds that the more people believe their jobs help others, the less emotionally exhausted they feel at work and the less depressed they feel in life. And on days when people think they’ve had a meaningful impact on others at work, they feel more energized at home and more capable of dealing with difficult situations.”
  • “Tedeschi and Calhoun found that after trauma, some people ended up choosing different direction for their lives that they never would have considered before.”
  • “After being reminded of their mortality, survivors often re-examine their priorities, which in some cases results in growth. a brush with death can lead to a new life.”
  • “Illness is a factor in more than 40 percent of bankruptcies, and there’s evidence that people with cancer are more than 2.5 times more likely to file for bankruptcy.”
  • “46 percent of Americans are unable to pay an emergency bill of four hundred dollars. For people living on the edge, paid family leave, quality health care, and mental health coverage can make the difference between hanging on and falling off.”
  • “After undergoing a hardship, people have new knowledge too offer those who go through similar experiences. It is a unique source of meaning because it does not just give our lives purpose—it gives our suffering purpose. People help where they’ve been hurt so that their wounds are not in vain.”
  • “A life chasing pleasure without meaning is an aimless existence.”
  • “When we focus on others, we find motivation that is difficult to marshal for ourselves alone.”
  • “Having fun is a form of self-compassion; just as we need to be kind to our-selves when we make mistakes, we also need to be kind to ourselves by enjoying life when we can.”
  • “Rather than waiting until we’re happy to enjoy the small things, we should go and do the small things that make us happy.”
  • “Then Adam suggested a new idea: write down three moments of joy every day.” … “It’s a habit that brightens the whole day.”
  • “Just as labeling negative emotions can help us process them, labeling positive emotions works too. Writing about joyful experiences for just three days can improve people’s moods and decrease their visits to health centers a full three months later.”
  • “As we can older, we define happiness less in terms of excitement and more in terms of peacefulness.”
  • “Many doctors and therapists also point to exercise as one of the best ways to improve psychological well-being”
  • “Resilience leads to greater happiness, more success, and better health.”
  • “Building resilience depends on the opportunities children have and the relationships they form with parents, caregivers, teachers, and friends. We can start by helping children develop four core beliefs: (1) they have some control over their lives; (2) they can learn from failure; (3) they matter as human beings; and (4) they have real strengths to rely on and share.”
  • “The kids who were praised for being smart did worse on later tests because they viewed their intelligence as fixed attribute. When the ‘smart’ ones struggled, they decided they just didn’t have the ability. Instead of attempting to complete a more difficult test, they gave up. But when kids were praised for trying, they worked harder on the challenging test and made more of an effort to finish it.”
  • “‘Moral elevation’ describes the feeling of being uplifted by an at of uncommon goodness. Elevation brings out what Abraham Lincoln called ‘the better angels of our nature.’ Even in the face of atrocity, elevation leads us to look at our similarities instead of our differences. We see the potential for good in others and gain hope that we can survive and rebuild. We become inspired to express compassion and battle injustice. As martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Let no main pull you so low as to hate him.’”
  • “We all have blind spots—weaknesses that other people see but we don’t. Sometimes we’re in denial. Other times we simply don’t know what we’re doing wrong. The people who have taught me the most in my career are the ones who pointed out what I didn’t see.”
  • “Byron showed me that building resilient teams and organizations take open and honest communication. When companies fail, it’s usually for reasons that almost everyone knows but almost no one has voiced. When someone isn’t making good decisions, few have the guts to tell that person, especially that person is the boss.”
  • “I talked about how a single sentence can make people more open to negative feedback: ‘I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.’”
  • “Most of the couples’ fights weren’t about money or sex but about ‘failed bids for connection.’”
  • “Part of protecting and nurturing a bond is doing small things together. After falling in love, couples often find that the sparks fade, and one way to reignite them is to try new or exciting activities.”
  • “In the couples whose marriage lasted, instead of escalating negativity, both partners showed humor and affection They took responsibility for their problems and found ways to compromise. They sent signals that even though they were fighting, at a deeper level, they were okay.”
  • “Taking a broader perspective helps resolve conflict. In one study, couples were instructed to write about their biggest disagreement as if they were outsiders looking in on the fight. Just three journal entries of seven minutes each were enough to help the couples maintain a loving marriage over the next year.”
  • “‘At forty-three, I had this aha moment of acceptance and realizing life is not about image—it’s about fulfillment,’ she said.”
  • See:
    • optionb.org
    • facebook.com/OptionBOrg
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