Einstein, one the greatest minds ever, had the habit of writing notes on small pieces of paper. He handed one of these to a Japanese porter when he realised he had not cash on him for a tip. He told the porter to hold on to the scrap of paper as it would one day be worth far more than the tip he was not able to pay. This is exactly what happened. The piece of paper was considered for an auction with the expectation of reaching an estimated price between R70 000 and R110 000.

The question arises what was written on the paper? The answer is that it contained Einstein’s advice about what a suitable lifestyle should be; in other words what is the route to happiness? Happiness is what we all seek, often in the wrong way and without success. Einstein’s words in German can be translated as “A calm and humble life brings more happiness than  the pursuit of success, which goes along with continuous restlessness.”


  1. How would you describe happiness?
  2. How does your viewpoint of happiness compare with that of Einstein?