David Saint

3 Oct 2017, 09:41

The £1.19m answer: Einstein’s Theory of Happiness

I was fascinated to read recently that Einstein’s ‘Theory of Happiness’ had been sold at auction for £1.19m. Spoiler alert – at the end of this piece I’m going to tell you what it is!

Apparently, Einstein received a delivery one day, but he didn’t have any money with which to tip the messenger. So, instead, he gave him a piece of paper on which he had written his Theory of Happiness. Many years later (this year, in fact) the messenger’s nephew was able to sell the document at auction – for £1.19m.

That probably made the nephew very happy! Although Einstein’s theory is somewhat simpler, and available to all. It is this: “A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.” As one might expect of Einstein, that seems very wise. Although it does rather beg the question as to whether ‘happiness’ is the ideal to which we aspire. For myself (and I suspect for many in the sector) ‘being useful’ feels pretty good, too. So my Theory of Happiness is a life that is “calm, humble and useful”. Any advance on £1.19m, anyone?