Several years before this event, Einstein was giving a series of lectures in Tokyo, Japan, when he received a telegraph stating that he won the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics. He was just starting to deliver his groundbreaking theories in physics but found himself short of change to give a bellboy who delivered a package to his room in the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.
Short on change but not ideas, Einstein wrote Bellboy two short letters telling the boy that these letters would be worth more than a standard tip.
They certainly did cost more, $1,550,000 to be precise, which is the price they received when Bellboy’s nephew put them up for an auction in Jerusalem.
The bidding went on for 25 minutes. The first letter sold for $1,300,000 and the second one was $250,000. Both letters were sold to the same anonymous buyer and today are said to be worth even more should they go on auction again. The price also includes what is known as the buyer’s premium, which is a commission the buyer has to pay to the auction houses in addition to a hammer price, also known as the winning bid.
The first letter reads (in German):
“Stilles bescheidenes Leben gibt mehr Glueck als erfolgreiches Streben, verbunden mit bestaendiger Unruhe.”
This translates to English as:
“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”
The second letter reads:
“Wo ein Wille ist, da ist auch ein Weg.”
This translates to:
“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Here Einstein touches on several subjects, such as a notion of minimalism and life purpose, which is exactly how he led his life, pursuing his passion for discovery, instead of mindless accumulation of wealth.
Still, while we must listen to the wise words of Einstein, we can’t forget that a true formula for happiness can’t be written in just two simple paragraphs, as it took me a whole book to sum up the whole happiness formula.
And while geniuses like Einstein have a lot to offer to us, I still recommend updating his 100 year old knowledge with recent discoveries in the field of the psychology of happiness, as today we know the full formula of how to be happy today and forever. You can learn this formula by reading my already mentioned book, attending one of my courses, or working with me directly 1-on-1. The first intake call is FREE!