Einstein’s Thoughts on Happiness Sell for $1.8 Million

Photo credit: Ron Cogswell, CC BY 2.0.

Let’s end the week with one more story about money and happiness, courtesy of the Washington Post:

In November 1922, Einstein was traveling from Europe to Japan for a lecture series for which he was paid 2,000 pounds by his Japanese publisher and hosts, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography, “Einstein: His Life and Universe.” During the journey, the 43-year-old learned he’d been awarded his field’s highest prize: the Nobel Prize in physics.

So Einstein arrives in Japan and goes to his hotel room to process the news. A messenger arrives with a delivery, and it’s a little unclear whether the messenger refused a tip or whether Einstein was short on cash, but we do know that Einstein ends up giving the messenger two handwritten notes, with the advice that they’ll be worth a lot of money someday.

Those autographed notes, in which Einstein offered his thoughts on how to live a happy and fulfilling life, sold at a Jerusalem auction house Tuesday for a combined $1.8 million.

One note translates as “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”

The other translates as “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

(I’m kinda feeling embarrassed about my pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness now.)

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