Krista Tippett’s conversation with Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on the On Being podcast prompted lots of insights. Sandberg and Adam Grant (who is one of my most favourite leadership authors/thinks) have just released ‘Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy‘, so this conversation was largely focused on the death of Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, what she learned through that experience, and some of the research on resilience and overcoming adversity that is included in the book. It was such a good conversation for getting some insight into what the experience of traumatic loss is like, and tips for how to support people who are greiving. Some key takeaways for me were: saying nothing is worse than saying the wrong thing, offer specific assistance rather than open-ended offers that place the burden of requesting help back on the person who is greiving, and the subtle but important difference between asking ‘how are you?’ and ‘how are you feeling today?’.
The emotional story that Sheryl Sandberg shared about ringing her cousin on her 50th birthday also stuck with me (“…there’s only two options: we either grow older, or we don’t”). Birthdays aren’t something that I’ve really paid much attention to (mine or others), but this story has made me think about using birthdays as a reminder to really be aware of and express gratitude for the people in my life.
The themes covered in the conversation overlapped quite a bit with this article on how to speak to someone about an unspeakable loss which popped up in my Facebook newsfeed lately, and it also reminded me of this great piece on how not to say the wrong thing.
I’ve been working my way through another #100happydays on Instagram (although have had several lapses along the way), but I do find it such a valuable practice for being present and finding happiness in small and seemingly insignificant moments. Adam Grant made a comment in the podcast that “it’s actually not the intensity of your positive experiences; it’s the frequency that really matters for how much happiness you find in life.”, and I find that the more I practice, the more frequent those positive emotions are in my own life.
“Several long-married people I know have said this exact line: “I’ve had at least three marriages. They’ve just all been with the same person.””
I thought this Modern Love article on embracing change in relationships was great.