For many years, during individual coaching sessions as well as at large leadership convents I often referred to the concept of ”Lagom”. And just as often I apologized for using it. Especially in an international context.
Until an English gentleman said to me: ”Kikki, why don´t you just say what you mean – that the Lagom word must mean the perfect optimal amount, right?” And that was exactly what it was – just as the golden section. The thought of writing a book about the phenomenon passed my mind. But the last year, at least four different authors have been writing about ”Lagom” and the Swedish approach to life. Here is two of them:
- ”Lagom” by Lola A. Åkerström
- ”Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living” by Linnea Dunne
Dunne wrote: ”Lagom (pronounced ‘lah-gom’) has no equivalent in the English language but is loosely translated as ‘not too little, not too much, just right’. It is widely believed that the word comes from the Viking term ‘laget om’, for when a mug of mead was passed around a circle and there was just enough for everyone to get a sip. But while the anecdote may hit the nail on the head, the true etymology of the word points to an old form of the word ‘lag’, which means ‘law’.
Far from restrictive, Lagom is a liberating concept, praising the idea that anything more than ‘just enough’ is a waste of time. Crucially it also comes with a selflessness and core belief of responsibility and common good”.
Åkerström wrote: ”Lagom sums up the Swedish psyche and is the reason why Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world with a healthy work-life balance and high standards of living. Lagom is a way of living that promotes harmony. It celebrates fairness, moderation and being satisfied with and taking proper care of what you’ve got, including your well-being, relationships, and possessions. It’s not about having too little or too much but about fully inviting contentment into our lives through making optimal decisions”.
Both books are brilliant reading! In times when all we want is balance, happiness and engagement in all aspects of life, the concept of ”Lagom” needs to take back the power and take place without excuses.
Not surprisingly, those books were pointed out from one of my international friends that said: Look, this is great – you must spread it to others than yourselves that already know it. Export it, damned!
At Wise Consulting we call it ”The Wise Way” 😉
A new start of ”Lagom”. Go go go Lagom.
/Christina ”Kikki” Chukman.
Proud Ambassador of Lagom