Albert Einstein may have been known for his crazy hair, the advent of the nuclear bomb and the theory behind that little thing called relativity. But as it turns out, the scientist may have also had a theory or two for something we can all get behind: happiness.
For centuries, scholars have debated the true meaning of happiness and what makes a person joyful. It looks like Einstein also wanted to contribute to the debate, because a couple of his old notes have surfaced, and he just so happened to have scribbled down a few sentences on the subject.
Two notes that Einstein reportedly wrote and gave to a courier in Tokyo around 95 years ago have been placed for bidding at an auction in Jerusalem. Apparently back in 1922, when Einstein was on tour in Japan giving lectures, he met a courier at his hotel. Either the courier refused a tip or Einstein was short on cash, so he wrote down two sayings instead. On the first blank note, he shared the words, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” On the second, he shared his theory on happiness.
“A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest,” reads the note, written on hotel stationary.
Okay, so it’s not like this paper contains any crazy scientific theory or calculations (Sheldon Cooper would be seriously disappointed). But on the other hand, it’s kind of cool to get a glimpse into one of the greatest minds of our time and find out what he thought truly brings happiness.
If you stop and think about it, Einstein’s words could hold a little meaning for us all. With so much FOMO, stress from work and pressure to instantly succeed out there weighing us down, the idea of just sitting back and enjoying what we have sounds pretty damned appealing. Sure, Einstein was determined to prove his theories (where there’s a will, there’s a way?) but maybe he also realized that constantly pursuing a goal or success wasn’t going to lead to his happiness — not when sitting back and enjoying life’s simple pleasures was his other alternative.
According to the notes’ seller (an anonymous resident of Germany), Einstein told the messenger that, “Maybe if you’re lucky those notes will become much more valuable than just a regular tip.”
Well, no word on whether the courier got any cash in exchange for the notes, but something tells me he was ‘happy’ to get them nonetheless.