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Sisu: Nordic Lifestyle Philosophy that will Transform your Life

First, we fell in love with their furniture and now we are adopting their lifestyle philosophies. Apparently, Nordic cultures have it all figured out! At the beginning, there was Danish hygge, which taught us how to experience life with those who matter to us, how to stay present in the moment and create rituals for […]

First, we fell in love with their furniture and now we are adopting their lifestyle philosophies. Apparently, Nordic cultures have it all figured out! At the beginning, there was Danish hygge, which taught us how to experience life with those who matter to us, how to stay present in the moment and create rituals for daily life. Then, we went crazy after Swedish lagom. This philosophy helped us feel more grounded, find balance and apply it to every part of our life. But move over lagom, there is a new life philosophy in town and it is becoming more and more popular.

Sisu is all about power, stamina and accepting life’s downs without being bowed by them. This is a Finnish take on courage and is described as an incredible force of willpower and self-determination. If you want to be the brave hero of your story and face life challenges with the will to win, Sisu might be your new Yoda.

Adopting this lifestyle is all about adopting an attitude of never giving up or giving in. No matter what life throws your way, it will help you stay hopeful, strong, and persevere. You know that second wind you get when you are running out of energy? That strength that comes from nowhere which helps you move on with your life? That is Sisu, an unstoppable force that kicks in when all other sources of motivation are depleted. In fact, in Finland telling someone they have Sisu is one of the nicest things you can say. It is like using just one word to let them know that they have strength of character and personality.

So how can you achieve inner strength and adopt this life philosophy?

Don’t worry, even if you think that you are spineless and you have no guts, having Sisu it’s something that can be learned. Are you ready to change your mindset and find that power that lies within you?

Find your focus

Prepare kids for school, make the breakfast, get to work, prepare for a meeting, remind your partner about the dry cleaning, call the handyman, clean your home… During the day our attention is often being pulled in all directions at once, that we forget to focus on ourselves.  Therefore, make sure you schedule some alone time and spend 20 minutes doing nothing. Yes, nothing! Just sit there in silence and after your thoughts stop swarming around you will be able to recognize and acknowledge those anxieties and worries that come to the surface.  Just by learning more about your current state of mind you can help yourself redirect your energy.

Return to your roots

Do you know what is the most powerful antidepressant in the world? Nature! However, we seem to forget that and instead spend our days, months, years stuck indoors. Spending time outside and exercising can do wonders for our mental health, so don’t hesitate to include walking, hiking or swimming into your daily schedule. Get yourself a pair of best long distance running shoes, explore trails around your hometown and find a secluded nature spot you can visit when you need to clear your mind.

Make things happen

Every New Year’s we make a list of things we want to do, see or become. However, by February we have already thrown that list in the trash and completely forgotten about it. If you want to adopt the Sisu lifestyle, you need to start making things happen. Set a clearly defined goal, but make sure it is realistic. Maybe you want to be a famous rock star by the end of this year, but most likely that won’t happen. Instead, set a goal that is actually achievable in reality and start working towards it. Although achieving it might seem like a big bite, keep in mind that every journey starts with a single step. Instead of chasing one, big goal, focus on smaller ones that lead to it.

After all, Sisu is all about taking the first small step, rather than making a huge leap.  Celebrate those milestones and be proud of them, since they are the ones that will help you keep your eyes on the prize. We all want instant gratification, and if we don’t get it we tend to give up. By marking smaller achievements you will get the boost you need to stay on the right track.

Be direct

Sisu reflects in everything you do, even the way you talk.  If you want to communicate Sisu-style you need to be direct, respectful and honest. Therefore be a good listener and do not interrupt the person you are talking to.  Also, always speak the truth, even if it is not pleasant.

When it comes to Sisu, you need to find the balance. Pushing yourself is not a bad thing, but if you go overboard you can cause burnout.  Yes, Sisu is about dealing with challenges  and tackling them head-on, but it is also about knowing when to take a break or ask for help.

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