Middle East

Albert Einstein’s happiness note sold for $1.6m

Gal Winner, owner and manager of the Winner's auction house in Jerusalem, displays two notes written by Albert Einstein, in 1922, on hotel stationary from the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo (22 October 2017) Image copyright AFP
Image caption The two notes sold for $1.56m and $240,000 - way higher than their estimates

A note written by Albert Einstein containing advice on happy living has sold at an auction house in Jerusalem for $1.56m (£1.19m).

Einstein gave the note to a courier in Tokyo in 1922 instead of a tip.

He had just heard that he had won the coveted Nobel prize for physics and told the messenger that, if he was lucky, the notes would become valuable.

Einstein suggested in the note that achieving a long-dreamt goal did not necessarily guarantee happiness.

The German-born physicist had won the Nobel and was in Japan on a lecture tour.

When the courier came to his room to make a delivery, he did not have any money to reward him.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Einstein (seen here in 1950) wrote the hotel notes shortly after winning the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics

Instead, he handed the messenger a signed note - using stationery of the Imperial Hotel Tokyo - with one sentence, written in German: "A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it."

A second note written at the same time simply reads: "Where there's a will, there's a way." It sold for $240,000, Winner's auction house said.

The winning bids for both notes were far higher than the pre-auction estimated price, the auctioneers said.

It said the buyer of one of the notes was a European who wished to remain anonymous.

The seller is reported to be the nephew of the messenger.

Albert's advice: Other famous examples

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination

We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity

(Sources: The Yale Book of Quotations/BrainyQuote)

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