This week in the news there was an interesting article about finding happiness. The subject of the article centered around a short note that Albert Einstein wrote. Many years back, Mr. Einstien was not so wealthy, and he left an unusual tip for his waitress in the form of a note. The note read…..
“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” Albert Einstein
The note was left in lieu of a tip, that Mr. Einstein did not apparently have, yet even though it may not have been appreciated at that time, today it is worth millions. The actual words from the note are the real value, possibly missed today by many, because of the note writer’s celebrity.
A calm and modest life… who has that anymore? With all of the technology, our schedules and the treadmill of work and children there is little time for calm. Most of us are trying to live the American dream: nicer car, bigger house; maybe that promotion. Believe it or not, according to Einstein (a smarter man than myself), we just don’t need much to be happy. Interestingly the most important thing in life to me is my health; and of course my family.
The pursuit of success is important to each of us as well; it brings purpose to our lives. Accomplishment makes us happy and feel fulfilled, yet it’s how we succeed that makes the difference. Setting a standard of worth that one can both live with, and that you are proud of, makes all the difference in the world. Keeping up with the neighbors is an empty endeavor, and it says nothing about our own thinking; it is standards set by others.
The part of the note about “constant restlessness” is the most important part of the quote to me. Too often we forget to stop and look around; see where we are and what successes we have had already. Constant restlessness refers to…not ever being happy with anything you have. It is most important to stop and give yourself credit for the things you have accomplished. Most of us could fill up both sides of a piece of a piece of paper with all of the things we wouldn’t want to give up in our lives. Appreciating those blessings is what brings us the most happiness; it is a recognition of our journey and how far we have come.
Albert Eistein was known for his brilliance and his science; yet maybe one of the most important things he ever wrote, was that little note to a waitress when he was young and struggling. Even in his early years he had it right, he understood the universe better than most. That note sold for $1.3 million, but its true value is priceless.
By Coach Brian Keith Shrewsbury
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