Applying the Swedish Concept of “Lagom” to Your Life and Work

Posted by Mitzi Branvold | Thursday, March 19, 2020

Applying the Swedish Concept of “Lagom” to Your Life and Work

Posted by Mitzi Branvold | Thursday, March 19, 2020

We can learn a lot from different cultures about the way we should live and work. In Denmark, they have “hygge” while in Sweden, they have “lagom.” While hygge refers to a sense of cozy happiness, lagom refers to that feeling of getting things “just right.”

The term comes from an ancient Viking custom of passing a glass/bowl around after a raid. When this glass/bowl was passed around, everyone was supposed to drink from it. But they were to drink neither too much nor too little. The amount that they drank needed to be just right.

Getting Things “Just Right”

We’ve all experienced this feeling of getting things just right at some point in our lives. For example, you might have had a cup of coffee and thought that it was neither too hot nor too cold. In fact, it was just right. When you make a dish of pasta, you want the sauce to be neither too sour not too sweet. It should be just right. When you dress to go to a certain event, you don’t want to be too formal or too casual for that event. You want to dress just right.

There’s another phrase in English: hitting the spot. You must have used it or heard it being used at some point or the other. When something hits the spot, it is just right. And you can feel it hitting the spot; you can feel it being just right.

Lagom in an Age of Excess

In this day and age when everyone is into excess, the idea of lagom or being just right doesn’t get that much coverage. We keep hearing of people who are billionaires and have spent every waking hour working. And we even respect this way of life.

But if you stop to think about it, you may realize that you don’t need to make millions to have a good life. You don’t need to have millions of followers either on social media. You don’t need to have a jet plane to fly you from one country to another whenever you feel like it.

You may just need a snug little cottage, time to spend with your loved ones and a short break from your work for a few days every now and then. In other words, you may need lagom!