Resiliency is Option B


Resiliency is the new trendy word. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant have sparked many conversations and insights with the publication of their book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.


The tragic, sudden death of Sheryl’s husband became the threshing ground for facing heartbreak with incredible honesty and pain. Her friend, Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton and a best-selling author, held her hand and offered concrete steps based upon his research.


It’s a powerful, compelling book. And thankfully, has brought the topic of resiliency into the forefront.However, lest we think that resiliency is a skill used only in deep personal loss, I contend that resiliency is a life skill and one, frankly, that needs to be taught in our schools.


John Doran is a Guidance Counselor in the Patrician Secondary School and author of Ways to Wellbeing a program promoting resilience and positive mental health for students nationwide and internationally.In a recent article, John states that schools might be preparing children for a world that no longer exists.


Life has become far more demanding, competitive, and filled with stress. A fear of failure and thus risk avoidance is finding its way into educational systems and is also a pattern for every generation.


Doran continually reinforces students to see setbacks as learning tools. In fact, Adam Grant’s research shows that successful products (like rocket launches) are possible only when failure is closely examined from the lens of “what did we learn” versus “who is to blame”.


He also offers a lovely phrase to help with what I think of as “reframing”. FAIL becomes First Attempt in Learning. And mistakes are called VILE “Very Interesting Learning Experience.” In my book, Your Resiliency GPS, I call these events AFGO—Another Frigging Growth Opportunity. It does make me laugh—a critical piece of our resiliency skill set.

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