This is Einstein's theory of happiness, which just sold for $1.5m

Emma Haslett
Follow Emma
Albert Einstein
Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 (Source: Getty)

Forget relativity: it turns out Albert Einstein's thoughts on philosophy are just as revered as his workings on time and space - after one of this thoughts on the pursuit of a happy life sold at auction for more than $1.5m (£1.1m).

Israeli auctioneer Winners said a three-line philosophy, handed to a messenger in Tokyo in lieu of a tip in 1922, had been expected to sell for between $5,000 and $8,000, but ended up going under the hammer for $1.56m at an auction yesterday.

According to Winners, Einstein gave the note to a courier during a stay in Tokyo in which the scientist was "impressed but also a little embarrassed" by the publicity he received. When the courier brought something to his hotel room, Einstein had no cash, so "decided to make the most of his new exalted status" and passed on his wisdom instead.

Einstein's advice? "Stilles bescheidenes Leben gibt mehr Glueck als erfolgreiches Streben, verbunden mit bestaendiger Unruhe." Or, in English:

A calm, modest life brings more happiness than striving for success, combined with constant anxiety.

Read more: Feeling unhappy? Here are ten tips for leading a happier life

The note sold for $1.5m (Source: Winners)

According to Winners, it was during the same visit to Japan that Einstein was informed he had won the Nobel Prize for Physics.

"Einstein decided to continue his journey according to his original plan, and he was absent from the ceremony in Stockholm in December," it added.

"The news of the Nobel Prize winner's arrival in Japan spread quickly, and when he arrived he found himself being welcomed by thousands of people flocking to see him."

Read more: This is the happiest place to live in London

Related articles