I read Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant’s book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy a few weeks ago. It’s a must read for every human on this planet.
Some of you know that I’m a huge fan of Adam Grant. His book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success is a key inspiration for the #GiveFirst moment, my own personal philosophy, and my upcoming book #GiveFirst: A New Philosophy for Business which should be out in 2018.
I’m also a huge fan of Sheryl Sandberg. I don’t know Sheryl well, but we hung out a few times 15 years ago and both Amy and I thought she was awesome. It’s been awesome to watch what she’s achieved – first at Google, and now at Facebook.
It’s even more remarkable to read the clarity with which she has processed the sudden loss of her beloved husband Dave Goldberg. I met Dave a few times in the last 1990s when he was running LAUNCH Media (we were investors via SOFTBANK) but didn’t stay in touch after Yahoo! acquired LAUNCH. However, many of my Bay Area friends were close to Dave and viewed him reverently.
Amy and I have lost several close friends in the past three months to cancer and suicide. Another friend was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. We are getting older and death is becoming a more visible part of our life experience.
Exploring how to process mortality is hard. I talked to a friend on my way home last night who is struggling with this. While these conversations are hard, I learn a little with each one.
Recently, I’ve been referring friends to Atul Gawande’s amazing book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End which is the best book I’ve read so far this year. I also send them to Paul Kalanithi’s book When Breath Becomes Air, which was one of the best books I’ve ever read. I know “best” is a weak qualifier, so just know that they are both in the same league as Norman Cousins’ classic Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing and Regeneration which had a profound impact on me in my mid-20s.
I just added Sheryl and Adam’s book to this league. Life and death are complicated. If you, like me, are constantly exploring it and trying to understand it, and yourself, better, I encourage you to read Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. Sheryl and Adam – thank you for writing it.
On today, the first day of the new year, I give to my wife Amy Batchelor the gift of a lifetime of uncomplaining tech support.
While in Bora Bora, one of the books I read was Stewart Friedman’s Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life. It was “ok” so I ended up skimming a lot of it. But I picked up one great thing from it which made the entire book worthwhile.
In the section about Sheryl Sandberg and how she lives her life, there was a comment from her that one of the best gifts her husband David Goldberg gave her was “uncomplaining tech support.” I relished that, tucked it away, and have started acting on it. Today is “tech support day” at the Feld/Batchelor Manse and my list is long, but I am uncomplaining.
Nerds of the world – consider giving this to your partner. The magic part seems to be the word “uncomplaining.”