Power = (Work x Wellbeing) / Time

I’ve spent the last two days at the University of Trier in Southern Germany. The university hosted the very first conference of the “German Association for Research in Positive Psychology” (DGPPF in German). I’m so excited about the fact the Positive Psychology is finally picking up momentum in my country.

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend all the workshops and lectures as I had a lot of work to do on the side. As I’m not a researcher myself, I contributed by hosting a workshop on marketing research(ers) to the press and via blogging.

The one takeaway that inspired me the most was the closing slide of a lecture given by Prof. Dr. Michaela Brohm who also happens to be the founding president of the newborn Positive Psychology association. She proposed we need a new formulation for “good work” by drawing upon a well-known formula from physics – where power (or output) is defined as the amount of work / time. Brohm referred to this as “cold work”.

She proposed to add another variable to the equation: Wellbeing. While work that is detrimental to psychological health might still lead to results in the common sense, it’s just not “good work”. Accordingly, the new formula goes as follows:

Power = (Work x Wellbeing) / Time

Prof. Dr. Michaela Brohm - DGPPFI love the notion that work and wellbeing are linked via a multiplicative function – because this implies that work which does not foster the (psychological) wellbeing of the worker potentially devalues the whole outcome of the process – whereas work that also builds wellbeing drastically increases the value of the investment. Brohm called this “warm work”.

I firmly believe we need this kind of catchy simplification because a prompt like that helps us to remember the core messages long after a talk or lecture.

Well done!

Want to learn about Positive Education? Here are some Opportunities

Pos_EdFirst, I’d like to point your attention to an upcoming conference: The International Positive Education Network (IPEN) will be hosting the first Festival of Positive Education in Dallas from July 18 to 20 next year. Among the speakers will be Martin Seligman, Angela Duckworth, and Anthony Seldon. For info and booking (please note there are some early-bird options) please visit this site.

Second, a couple of weeks ago a parcel reached me all the way from Australia. It contained a copy of the book Evidence-Based Approaches in Positive Education: Implementing a Strategic Framework for Well-being in Schools edited by Mathew White and Simon Murray (foreword by Martin Seligman). I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but I’m sure it’s worth every penny.

Positive Psychologie in der SchuleAnd third, just in case your German: We don’t have to look to the other end of the globe for good stuff on Positive Education. Recently, Michaela Brohm and Wolfgang Endres published a book by the name of Positive Psychologie in der Schule: Die Glücksrevolution im Schulalltag. Mit 5 × 8 Übungen für die Unterrichtspraxis (Positive Psychologie at School).

Finally, I’d like to point your attention to the list of Positive Psychology papers on this site – it also contains a section on Positive Education.

Share and enjoy!