Lagom. It is a Swedish word that does not have a direct English translation, but it means kinda like “enough” as in “just enough” or “there is enough for everyone.” But, even those examples are not quite right, but language being what it is, it will have to do.

Over a span of about a year or so, little by little, I’ve become a fan of Julien Smith. Not a gushing kind of groupie fan, but one with a mildly curious fascination with someone who understands lagom and is content with others not. And being ok with that. Then by chance, I saw him speak about the inner ring on this video clip on Tim Sanders’ blog (you only need to watch until 1:26 or so, but if you want to watch the whole thing, have at it.) Julien does not publish prolifically on his blog, but when he does, you get a sense that he has thought about the post for a long time.

I meet people all the time who are “increasing revenue, market share, friends, followers, money” or are “moving to the next level” or buying a bigger house, etc. Why? To what end? I often wonder if they have ever set goals of success or if they are always defining success as one more dollar, one more twitter follower, one more….

They are like an impatient dog who can’t wait to get to the next block, and the next and the next when all he is doing is rushing the walk and ending up back home sooner. I much prefer dogs who stop and sniff the bushes longer and maybe holds her heads up to catch the breeze through her ears.

Lagom. Some say it limits ambition. I say it is defines sanity and peace.