Can you change your life in one simple step? I think we can. It takes one simple step. It may be difficult at first, but each day as we cultivate this step into every aspect of our life it will get easier. What is that step?
This is probably why Sweden is listed as one of the happiest places on earth. They’re work-life is in balance. They also have a high standard of living. So what does this Lagom mean that it helps the Swedish people stay in balance?
Lagom means “just the right amount!” Many people think it means in moderation but when you look up “in moderation” you find that it doesn’t mean the same thing. Merriam-Webster defines “in moderation” this way, “in a way that is reasonable and not excessive.”
In my view “in moderation” does not even come close to lagom. Moderation is an area where we can get lost in relativity. For instance, is it fine to speed down the road 40 miles over the speed limit, if you don’t do it all the time and it’s just “in moderation?” Of course not. Can a person who is allergic or have food sensitivities eat them in moderation without a reaction? Probably, but it’s not advisable because you’ll end up getting sick.
Lagom’s translation of “just the right amount” makes more sense when we look at the word balance. Is your life in balance? Are you working just the right amount of hours? Are you sleeping just the right amount of hours that is optimal for your health? Are you in balance with your life?
Let’s go back to Merriam Webster again. “In balance” means to bring into harmony or proportion. This definition makes me think of “just the right amount.” When our work life and family life is in harmony with each other we are working just the right amount of hours and spending just the right amount of time with our family.
Lagom is a way of life for the Swedes. They apply it to frugality, stress reduction, striking a balance between work and play, environmental concerns, and sustainability. Swedes don’t obsess about things, especially happiness.
While I was reading the book, Live Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way by Anna Brones, I realized that living where I do we’re always looking for the next best thing, or trying obtain that newest piece of technology or material possession. The Swedish way is totally opposite from materialism and consumerism.
HARMONY, BALANCE, LAGOM
- When was the last time your life was in balance or harmony with your beliefs?
- When was the last time your health was just right?
- Do you work too much?
- Stress too much?
- Spend too much?
- Sleep too much?
- Sit too much?
I asked my the questions above and found out some pretty interesting things about myself. I decided to take that simple step and move into lagom in all areas of my life. You know what happened. I changed my life in one simple step. You too can change your life in one simple step. Try to exercise lagom and see how your life changes.