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The Three-P’s to Kicking Life’s Hardships In The Butt

This week I read an empowering article about Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook and author of “Lean In,” who delivered the commencement speech at the University of California, Berkeley, this past Saturday. This was the first time Sandberg openly discussed the loss of her husband Dave, who unexpectedly died of a cardiac arrhythmia while vacationing in Mexico in May 2015. Her speech was raw, powerful and eye-opening. She explains the unthinkable grief and shock following the days after Dave’s death, and her journey back to normalcy. She sought out counseling and discovered what psychologist Martin Seligman claims are the three P’s – personalization, pervasiveness and permanence – to assist in recovering from hardships.

Personalization reflects the belief that we are at fault, which is different from taking responsibility. The lesson to takeaway is that not everything that happens to us happens because of us. The second P is pervasiveness – believing that an event will affect all areas of your life and you have no place to hide from the all-consuming sadness. The ability to dive back into your routine, will help your mind evict the thoughts of overwhelming sadness, and guide you back to happiness. Lastly, permanence is the belief that the sorrow will last forever. They say time heals all wounds, but in reality the hurt and sadness will always be there. It’s only with time that the hurt will hurt a little less.

The three P’s are a powerful tool to help those who are suffering overcome their hardships, which can be found anywhere, anytime and bring out a multiplicity of emotions. Although, it’s really how you respond during the darkest times of your life that determines who you are. Being able to see the light on the other side is a hard feat, but one that in time can be done.

Here is a quote in the article that I liked the most:

A few weeks after Dave died, I was talking to my friend Phil about a father-son activity that Dave was not here to do. We came up with a plan to fill in for Dave. I cried to him, ‘But I want Dave.’ Phil put his arm around me and said, ‘Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.’”

-Sheryl Sandberg

I invite you to take a few minutes and read Sandberg’s full speech here. You won’t be disappointed.

Push the Sled blog is written by Dusty Alexander, CEO of Global Shop Solutions, because no matter how good you get (at physical fitness, running a manufacturing business or being an ERP user) you can always work harder, get better, and be humble.

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