Million dollar theory of happiness

We know him as the genius behind the theory of relativity, but thanks to a handwritten note he left for a bellboy, that fetched US$1.6 million at an auction in Jerusalem in 2017, Albert Einstein seem to have espoused another theory, though short, this time about happiness.

“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”

Albert Einstein

It was in 1922, Einstein was staying at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, about the same time he learned about his Nobel Prize win. Having no change to tip the bellboy, he instead wrote down the above quote on a piece of hotel stationary, saying to keep the notes (there were two actually), as they could someday be worth more than a tip. And as the genius predicted, the bellboy’s family must be happy now to have kept that precious piece of writing, now famously referred to as the theory of happiness that’s worth over a million dollars.

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1/4 of 2018

For a good quarter of the year, I busied myself with mostly offline activities, even took a quick experimental sabbatical of sorts from social media. Thus, it took a while to get back to writing on this seemingly stale, abandoned blog. It’s easy to point to work as the usual suspect but not exactly, though it’s been as challenging (read: stressful) as ever, what with the changing tides in business, I actually have this renewed determination to make things happen, create and recreate the new and old, pursue better if not best outcomes, be the teacher and learner given the opportunity, not only professionally, most importantly for my own person.

It was this decluttering project that got me somewhat always weirdly excited, restless even. While I was slowly giving up some of my treasured possessions, starting with spare and unused gadgets, collectible toys and lately the pricey sneakers (thanks to carousell) I somehow regained this appreciation of only having a few, basic but important stuff, and pay attention to things that matter most. This means more time and energy spent for my well being, ultimately equating to more treasured moments with family and friends. And as if addicted to shopping, though the exact opposite, I no longer buy “want” things as I am now buying more “need” things and was always on the look out for the next extra or unused stuff that I can either sell or donate or pass on to relatives.

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Give me a few more weeks and I can proudly claim that I’ve become a minimalist. I actually didn’t know it’s been called that term, I always thought of minimalism in terms of photography. No I wasn’t unhappy or miserable, the level of clutter I have is not even alarming enough to that of a hoarder, but I guess it’s because I wanted to live within my means and enjoy life without the pressure of wanting more. I came across this documentary film about minimalism by Matt D’Avella and was inspired even more. Here’s what got me started. continue reading »