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Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well – Lola A. Åkerström

02 Sep

As the Swedish proverb goes, ‘Lagom är bäst’ (The right amount is best). 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.

Full of insights and beautiful photographs, taken by Lola herself, this authentic book will help you make small, simple changes to your every day life – whether that’s your diet, lifestyle, money, work or your home – so you can have a more balanced way of living filled with contentment.

Lagom is a deep-set part of Swedish culture, it cultivates a clean, intelligent way of living inside and out.  This sense of balance and sustainability is concisely explained in this book as well as its context in Swedish society and beyond into the wider world.

The presentation of this succinct work is sharp, clear, and colourful throughout sprinkled with plenty of illustrations and some great photos of both scenery, food and everything in between.  It truly makes the reader yearn for a visit to Sweden to soak it all in and go hiking.

There is a comprehensive look at the different ways in which Lagom is invested in many lifestyle choices including; food, health, fashion, work, money and nature, to name a few.  It shows that unlike for other countries – my own included – this is not just a trend but an ingrained way of living.

There is no bad weather, there are only bad clothes

Although interesting, I’m still not convinced about Lagom.  I like the ideas about sustainability and working within one’s means but really that is common sense and as such isn’t original to Swedish culture but can be seen as far back as ancient Greece.

It is however an interesting look into the social and conscious personality of the Swedes so is rewarding in that aspect.  It makes one wonder how the increasing wave of immigrants will affect this balance especially as some choose not to integrate in their new country’s ways.  Time will tell of course and this interesting and informative read did surprise me with what I got out of it, which is perhaps the best thing we can get out of a book.Save

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18 Comments

Posted by on 02/09/2017 in Life

 

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18 responses to “Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well – Lola A. Åkerström

  1. Alastair Savage

    02/09/2017 at 13:34

    It’s all very well to say ‘there’s no bad weather’ if you live in Scandinavia where the white winters are beautiful with crisp air and clear blue skies. Our British perpetual drizzle and leaden skies suggest otherwise!

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    • Ste J

      02/09/2017 at 14:58

      Haha, too right. I suppose somebody has to like that weather, I have some rather fetching gaudy shorts that I should give an airing to before the Autumnal weather starts kicking in.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  2. shadowoperator

    02/09/2017 at 14:26

    I seem to be suffering from deja vu…didn’t you just do this one? Or were you giving the book a second look-see? I have a tendency to be swept away by books like this one, to live their way of life for a while, no matter the topic or where the book is from, and then unaccountably to backslide into my old ways of doing stuff. I’m longing to find a trend that sticks with me, but so far I haven’t. Maybe this one is it?

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    • Ste J

      02/09/2017 at 15:04

      I mentioned I got the book from the publisher after slating the amount of books that seem to be on sale, maybe next time I should choose what I criticise more tactically.

      This is a good lifestyle to have but like you I also descend into the ‘I’ll do it later’ after a time. The book does have plenty of chapters on different subject so there is always something to look at and I did get quite hyped for some of the suggestions. This is a cheerful book (with a great smell!) that will encourage you and of course if you have a stab at it and become lazy then the book’s everything in moderation ethos allows you capacity for no guilt!

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      • Liz Dexter

        16/09/2017 at 17:45

        Didn’t you read one about decluttering that would basically clutter up your house, or was that someone else?A friend followed these principles in some blog thing sponsored by IKEA a while ago and did find it useful and freeing.

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        • Ste J

          30/09/2017 at 17:53

          I wrote about the amount of Lagom books cluttering up bookshops like those terrible Dan Brown efforts clog the shelves of second hand bookshops. I went to IKEA once, there were more people enjoying the meatballs than shopping.

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  3. hitandrun1964

    02/09/2017 at 15:54

    You are so right…a closed/contained society works differently than a society that has an influx of individuals from different cultures. It can be a threat to their way of life and upset the balance of their peace and tranquility. Paris is having that problem now.

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    • Ste J

      03/09/2017 at 12:56

      Any group or culture that is within another larger group, to use your example Paris or the wider example of France must integrate, both must make an effort to understand the other but without ties and reaching out, the smaller group becomes more insular and problems inevitably arise.

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  4. macjam47

    02/09/2017 at 22:00

    It is an interesting concept. I’m in awe of a country where the culture is “the right amount is best.” The world at large, especially the US, is so populated with the rich who only want to get richer.

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    • Ste J

      03/09/2017 at 13:56

      I think we could all do with getting a better balance of everything. I’ve been watching a ton of political stuff about the USA at the moment, its all very intriguing, if depressing.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • macjam47

        03/09/2017 at 14:11

        You got it right, my friend. It is depressing.

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  5. Liz

    03/09/2017 at 07:19

    It is always interesting to read about other cultures – and if one can glean a few tips, that’s a bonus!

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    • Ste J

      03/09/2017 at 12:10

      Yes, I totally agree! It also makes the reader get itchy feet to head over there.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. Andrea Stephenson

    03/09/2017 at 20:45

    I was interested to read your thoughts Ste. Interestingly I was watching an interview with Karl Ove Knausgard the other day when he was talking about how in Sweden there are things you aren’t allowed to talk about so as not to affect the status quo of everything being positive – another perspective.

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    • Ste J

      04/09/2017 at 02:08

      I have been reading up on the less positive aspects that it sometimes brings out, I find that aspect of it very intriguing if under reported. I was debating on doing another blog post but I think I am all Lagomed out for the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  7. Resa

    10/09/2017 at 21:38

    Not sure what is in store for Canada. If we didn’t have immigrants, we would have negative population growth, apparently.
    On a completely different note, have you seen the 7 episode mini-series “Feud”?
    OMG!!! I’ve binge watched it 3 times, now, & have given it all my votes for the Emmys! FANTASTIC!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      30/09/2017 at 17:43

      I haven’t seen it but I have heard about it. This year has seen some immense TV, The Night of, Twin Peaks (most of Game of Thrones, Rick and Morty, a whole raft of documentaries as well. The Deuce and season two of Channel Zero are another two, Westworld as well, and those are only the ones I can remember. It is great but has made my reading suffer haha.

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