Guest Blog Post by Leslie M. Bosserman, an Executive Coach + Lifestyle Strategist partnering with Millennials leaders and their managers to help them Lead With Intention™.

As someone known to run at a pretty high-octane, I admittedly have a hard time slowing down and choosing to relax (and maybe you can relate!). In such a busy season of transition and change, making time to hit the brakes and coast doesn't feel natural or comfortable, but it’s vital in order to maintain and sustain energy and health.

"And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." - T.S. Eliot

Imagine what it would be like to give yourself permission to PAUSE. To rest. To reflect. To simply be where you are without the need for more (or less).

Now you may be thinking, “Yeah that sounds great, Leslie, but I have a 60 HPW job, kids who need help with homework and rides to soccer practice, meals to cook, a house to clean, laundry to do, holidays to prep for…”

The average busy adult can’t even begin to fathom when and how to hit pause. It just isn’t realistic.

Or is this just what we’ve convinced ourselves to believe to reinforce the cycle of busyness in our lives?

The Currency of Busyness

“When busyness is the measure of time, no matter how much time exists it is never enough.” - Diana Hunt

What if your success wasn’t measured by how busy you are, but rather by how fulfilled you feel?

This is a guiding principle of my philosophy of Wholehearted Leadership™ and helps us refocus on the bigger picture, rather than getting stuck in the energy of doing, completing, achieving, striving, and proving.

In a recent Experience Life article on "The Upside of Downtime", scientists found that chronic busyness actually exhausts our nervous system and kills our ability to be productive and creative. Whereas author, Heather Rogers, shared that "idleness stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, bringing a host of healthful outcomes."

Even the most demanding jobs give you mandatory vacation time, but how many of us take it regularly? From my experience working at two major universities for the better part of a decade before launching Lead With Intention™, choosing to take vacation time isn’t encouraged or supported because of pressing deadlines and workplace demands – many of which we put on ourselves or gladly accept to make it up the career ladder, only to become even busier. The same is true of many corporate, government, and educational roles.

And for my fellow entrepreneurs and Domestic Engineers (i.e. stay at home parents), creating some type of vacation time and sick leave doesn't generally rank highly compared to other pressing tasks and obligations as we run our businesses and care for our families. Hitting pause is something we have to design into our lifestyles so we don’t burn out or start resenting the work and people we love.

Listen to Your Life

No matter what career you have or roles you’re playing, consider the words of well-known life coach, Martha Beck:

“When you know it’s time for action, act. When you feel it’s time to rest, rest. Not resting is as harmful as not acting.” - Martha Beck

You know when you need to make things happen.

You also know when you need rest.

Listen to both.

Give yourself permission to pause and notice the difference.

And you’re welcome. (You can thank me later! Please first pause, rest, and reflect.)

Find More Leading Insights here


Leslie M. Bosserman believes that success is based on fulfillment, not retirement. As a champion for authentic living, she partners with dynamic leaders, social entrepreneurs, and creative change-makers who want to develop their natural strengths so they can live and lead wholeheartedly. She is the founder of Lead With Intention™ where she supports Millennial leaders and their managers by creating customized leadership solutions. She also serves as a volunteer coach with The Coaching Fellowship and as the TEDxSacramento Event Coordinator.

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Reflection.

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Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.