Hello Lagom Lifers!
I used to live very stressed out and unhappy: I wanted a bigger salary, a better car, more shoes, more clothes… I winded up messing my credit cards. I learned this word Lagom when I started to study Swedish language and I was fascinated by it. I visited Sweden last May 2016 and that helped me out to make changes in my life. I started living by Lagom, with moderation, and is leading me to a happier and more meaningful life.
Lagom (pronounced as law-gawm) is more than just a simple word, but a whole lifestyle and mindset. This is a swedish word with no direct translation to English and it means “just about enough“, “with moderation” or “balanced“. It denotes “not too much of anything but not too little”, that is, just the right amount of it.
Wait a minute, ¿why do I say Lagom is more than just a simple word? Well… most of the Swedish people live Lagom-ly to any extent of their lives: their families, their works, their finances. This means, for instance, that Swedes aren’t very consumist people, they bought just what they need; they do not have big mansions, but cosy houses and apartments with the necessary things to live well; they aren’t indebted by huge amounts, but they do save a lot; they know it’s important to work hard but also to have a coffee break with family and friends to spend some time together (they call it “Fika” and it’s a huge tradition in Sweden).
In Sweden, the people live under the value “less is more, in contrast to the consumist lifestyle nowadays. The swedes have great steem for modesty and they avoid the excesses. We could say, in certain way, that Lagom is similar to minimalism.
When I start learning Swedish last year, I came across with this word “Lagom“. Then I start thinking the way I was living: buying whatever stuff I like (without pondering if I really need it or not) and focusing only on myself and my career, putting aside my family. I wasn’t very happy at the time, I messed my credit cards, I felt distant from my family and friends, I wasn’t grateful for anything and I felt a pressure under my shoulders for getting more: a bigger salary, a better car, more shoes, more clothes and so on. I used to feel very stressed out.
I visited Sweden in May 2016 and it was a cultural shock for me. When I got back to Mexico, I decided that I was going to live by Lagom and get rid of all the mess I did. I’ve been reading books to heal my finances and I’m saving some money now; I try to spend more time with my family and friends, or at least to catch up very often; and I feel much happier now.
I feel that the pressure and the stress for gettin more is vanishing away. My life has become simpler and easier. And I must be franch, I still fight to overcome my old behaviour and my old mindset, I still trip every now and then. But I know it’s okay and I’m much better now, I’ve walked a long way and there is no comming back.
I realized that I wasn’t not the only one who is under the pressure for getting more, living a consumist and unbalanced life. There are many people who thinks the way I used to do, “the more the better”; but I also realized that when we are under the pressure for having more and more, no matter what we do, we can’t get more because we’re manifesting the lack of those things we want.
Living Lagom-ly is helping me out to release any kind of stress and has led me to a more grateful and meaningful life. We all can learn to make little changes to reach a balanced life, be happy and let go of any stress, which I will share with you in future posts of this blog. I hope you join in to start living by Lagom as I’m doing now.
And what about you Lagom Lifer?… Have you ever felt the same I used to do? What are your thoughts about this way of living? Let me know with your comments below.