The Book: Asking One Question

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A Novel about Traveling the World & Finding Meaning and Happiness

Axel Fritz is a successful sales professional in the IT industry. One day, he decided to quit his job and sell all his belongings. He left his home in Germany to live with only a backpack and to meet interesting people around the globe. Repeatedly, he asked one question to find inspiration about the meaning of happiness in order to finally discover his own individual definition of it and to live a happier life.

The short stories are taken from twenty-five real conversations the author had with people and friends during his travels.

A must-read for travel enthusiasts and anybody who wants to live a happier life.

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Cover - Asking One Question [Happiness]

Reading Excerpt – Asking One Question

The Smile of Happiness

Thousands of people make a pilgrimage to Anuradhapura each year. It happens on Poson Full Moon Poya Day, which commemorates the arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka from India many years ago. It is one of the two major annual national holidays. Together with some pilgrims, I walked to Ruwanwelisaya. There, the pilgrims slept on bare ground. I felt so very lucky to be at this special historic site that night. What a gathering! The air was warm and humid. The stars were shining clearly in the sky. A spiritual leader was leading prayers all night inside the central temple.

We walked around to embrace the atmosphere at different places. What I saw next blew me away. We were walking along the main road, which led through the area. There was a man sitting on the sidewalk on a woolen blanket. He had grey hair and a long grey beard. He was probably around 70 years old. I gave him a smile—the commonly flat, strict and distant smile of a traveler from Germany. What I got in return though was not the generic smile I knew from Europe. It was a genuine smile—the kind of smile I had never received before. He had taken a deep breath and then cast, what felt like, a spell on me through his smile. The smile grew slowly from the standard smile we all know, to a smile that was generated from the deepest honesty of his heart. A smile not just from the mouth and eyes, but expressed by the complete body. All the free power of love from his heart showcased on his face without any reservation. I was stunned. With a stone made of feathers that was beamed by a magical slingshot, the incarnation of happiness was delivered directly into my eyes, brain and heart. His aura was completely calm, effortless, worry-free and serene. I looked into his eyes and I could feel his soul. A soul balanced in inner peace and free of second thoughts. A soul that was living in the moment. In fact, it was the soul of a purely happy person. I consider myself very lucky to have had this encounter. I wondered if I would ever master my smile to this level. Will I ever develop inner happiness to a great and constant level like this special man? How could I achieve this? What does happiness actually mean? …

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