The Storm Before the Calm is thought-provoking. It helped me understand why the educational world is so out of touch with student realities. Author George Friedman is in geopolitics. He explains that the USA—since the beginning—has had two major cycles: institutional (every 80 years) and socioeconomic (every 50 years). These two cycles are going to happen between 2020 and 2028 (first time in the history of the USA that they come that close together).

The last section of the book is Friedman’s predictions for what will happen between 2020 and 2028. He says that it will be chaotic for America during this time, but by 2028 things will be calm again. One of the most interesting ideas is that higher education and student debt will collide—forcing a change in that institutional structure.

I was fascinated by Eric Barker’s Barking Up the Wrong Tree. One of the things that is key in becoming a “success” is to “pick the right pond.” Part of success is being in a situation that utilizes your assets and is supportive of your use of those assets.

“Career success doesn’t always make us happy, but the research shows that happiness does bring success.”

And in the research, there is a “0.7 correlation between perceived social support and happiness. This is higher than the connection between smoking and cancer.” In other words, “your pond”—your relationships and their support—are critical in happiness.