Ever since I learned the Swedish language for my time at a university in this beautiful country, there was one word that especially spoke to me. It probably is the word that describes the Swedish culture the best. It’s not just a word… it’s a way of life, a way of thinking. I somehow feel connected to it.
It’s a word that does not have a clear translation to other languages. It’s unique. If you want to tell somebody what it means, you have to explain it because it means nothing, and everything, and everything in between.
When you search the internet for this, there are many different translations. It almost seems like everyone has her own interpretation of what it means. At least so do I. While I was looking it up again the other day, I read the Wikipedia article about it, which tells you:
Lagom (pronounced ˈlɑ̀ːɡɔm) is a Swedish word meaning “just the right amount”.
And that’s it. Just the right amount. Not too much, not too little. Not too loud, not to quiet. Not too hot, not too cold. It’s a word of reasoning. It speaks to my nature.
In these times – and to me it feels like especially within the last couple of years or maybe even decades – everything is overhyped, everything is the best, the most amazing thing ever; or the worst, the crappiest, the most unnecessary and stupid thing of all times. Everything is extreme. Everything else is boring. We need to be fast, we need to know everything and be experts in everything. I feel exhausted from all of this.
Lagom. You really should let it sink in and think about this word. „Lagom är best“… „Lagom is the best“. The right amount is the best. Not too much is the best. Not too little is the best. Normal is the best.
Whereas words like sufficient and average suggest some degree of abstinence, scarcity, or failure, lagom carries the connotation of appropriateness, although not necessarily perfection.
To me, it is a very positive word. I think it doesn’t mean that one should not strive to do great work, write amazing things, be great to other people… it means that we should think about what really matters to us. Maybe just the right amount of anything is the key to be happy and successful.
And with this kind of mindset I wish to see this blog exist. That’s why it’s called Think Lagom. It surely will not be the greatest blog ever. Heck, barely anyone will probably notice it. Maybe it will see a couple of posts each week, maybe it will see a post every other month. I don’t know where this is going. It’s new, it’s shiny, yet imperfect. At the moment, it’s just lagom and that’s the way I want it to be.