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Albert Einstein may be known for his incredibly high IQ and for creating a major pillar of modern physics, but apparently, the physicist may have been just as happy as he was smart.
Einstein’s handwritten ‘Theory of Happiness’ was just sold at an auction in Jerusalem for about $1.56 million. The second note of the two sold for $240,000, NPR reports.
The physicist’s two notes outlined his pointers for living a happy and fruitful life. Einstein wrote the notes while on a trip to Japan for a series of lectures in November of 1922.
This was his first lecture in the city, and it ran almost four hours long with translation.
Interestingly enough, The Independent reports that this trip was also when Einstein found out that he had been “bestowed with the highest accolade in his field”; the Nobel Prize in physics.
Feeling a cocktail of emotions, Einstein tried to make sense of his feelings from his hotel room in Tokyo. At around this time, a courier came to his room with a delivery. After fishing in his pocket for a tip, he came up empty.
According to the seller of the letters, Einstein believed the notes in the future could be worth more than the spare change he might have handed over to the delivery man, so he gave them the notes instead.
On a piece of Tokyo's Imperial Hotel stationery, Einstein wrote in German his theory of happiness: "A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness."
Followed by a second sheet, which he wrote: "Where there's a will there's a way."
A spokesman for the auction house, Meni Chadad, told The New York Times that it was expected that the notes would sell for around $5,000 to $8,000. But when the sale was announced, he said, the room burst into applause.
"It was an all-time record for an auction of a document in Israel, and it was just wow, wow, wow," Chadad said. "I think the value can be explained by the fact that the story behind the tip is so uplifting and inspiring, and because Einstein continues to be a global rock star long after his death."
The seller of the notes was reportedly a grandson of the Japanese bell boy's brother who now lives in Germany.
And it seems that Einstein’s notes were spot on, claiming that the person who won the auction is now "very, very happy," Chadad told the Times.
The identity of the seller, who is European, has not been revealed.