The Fool’s Journey towards Productivity: IV The Emperor
Emperor is definitely the guy we want to talk to when it comes to productivity.
He’s the obvious choice, isn’t it? He’s the ruler of his kingdom, the supreme figurehead of power, authority, action and production. He’s got so much control over his domain and how can we not feature him on the productivity panel!?
Productivity is often associated with the word “control”. If you are trying to build a habit, you gotta exercise control. If you are trying to beat the clock and the “hands” of fate, you gotta exercise control. You gotta stay on top of your game and you gotta stay in control. Yes, in a very real sense, the Emperor keeps his kingdom up and running and function because of his power to control his people’s affairs. He is able to command and utilize the necessary resources to achieve what needs to be done.
In short, he gets things done. While he is the obvious candidate for a conversation about productivity, I can’t help but think that we as a society have gotten it backwards.
There seems to be this insidious idea that we must first be in the seat of power to be able to exercise control. If we don’t have power to begin with, we have no control over our lives or the situations or people we become involved with. Disempowerment is definitely related to a sense of lack of control. When you feel disempowered for whatever reason, you would slip into passive acceptance and passively accept your life as it is. This kind of passivity then exacerbates into numbness and aimlessness. At this point, you are so far away from the Emperor archetype and the throne of your power, you don’t think you have any power at all.
The Emperor may be an archetype that is radiating control and authority. But both control and authority are powerful indicators of the Emperor-manifest, and definitely align with the Emperor’s core values and core archetype existence–but they are not the Emperor’s source of power.
Indeed, the Emperor’s source of power isn‘t control.
The two main sources of Emperor’s ability to control and project authority are responsibility and choice. A functioning Emperor archetype is responsible for the affairs of his kingdom and his people. He is the manifesting agent for the macrocosm of his people, and he aligns himself with the collective agenda and well-being. As the Emperor, he is responsible for ensuring the prosperity of his kingdom as well as the continuous growth of his kingdom. Because of this he needs to be farsighted and perceptive of the various influences and factors that come into play when he has to make a decision that will affect the future of his domain. Even at the top of his throne, he knows that he has to work with finite resources that can only allow him to accomplish certain priorities over others.
Therefore, a lesson from the Emperor archetype is to know that depending on where you are in life, what your current goal and vision is for yourself, who you are seeking to become and how you are involved with your environment and your circumstances–you will have to make decisions that prioritize one thing over the other. This isn’t necessarily an act of sacrifice, which connotes the idea that you have to be willing to give up something to achieve something else, or you have to give up something in order to get what you want. It’s more about choosing your focus so you can dedicate your time, energy and heart to something that is relevant and important for you right now so things can get done.
Indeed, you are responsible for that. You are responsible for showing up for yourself, for the dreams you want to pull from the ethereal into reality and into physical being. You are responsible for making sure you are doing what needs to be done, for aligning yourself to your heart and your visions, and for keeping the promises that you have made for yourself so that your “kingdom” or the “kingdom” you are trying to create will flourish under your rule. If you do not pledge your sense of duty to your dreams, who will? If you aren’t sitting at the seat of your power, who is? When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. You win when you take responsibility for the kingdom that is yours and the things you want to create and you claim your throne for yourself. Or you surrender your seat of power to someone else and allow yourself to become dictated by life’s circumstance.
(Yes, that is a Game of Thrones reference. Aren’t you excited for the last season? Waiting is absolutely grueling.)
Another source of the Emperor’s power is choice.
This is where your sense of control comes from because when you are sitting at the seat of your power, you believe in the power and the impact of your choices. You believe and know that each and every one of your choice has an effect or consequence, and that your choices are essentially you exercising your power as the ruler of your domain or your life to create the outcomes that you want. As the Emperor, or the ruler, you are not subject to the whims of anyone. You get to decide what you want your life to look like and you get to decide what is good for you. (Don’t go on a selfish decision-making spree, however. That is the act of a Tyrant, not an Emperor.)
The Emperor archetype teaches us that our choices have power. Whatever it is that we choose (or don’t choose) has a direct impact on the reality that we inhabit and create. By acknowledging the power in your ability to choose, you will be able to tap into the power of transformation and manifestation. By acknowledging the power of choice, you are taking responsibility for yourself and your life because, hey, since you are so powerful, you have no excuse NOT to create the life that you want!
Productivity is no longer something intangible or an unattainable status–
with each choice that you make (to experiment, to take better care of yourself, to get to know yourself better, to incorporate the things that you’ve learned into your daily creative practice and lifestyle), you are becoming more productive. You are making productive choices by keeping yourself accountable and reminding yourself of what you want to achieve in life and the kind of person you want to be in life. And you are becoming more productive when you acknowledge that your choices are powerful, and by choosing differently or sticking with a choice that benefits you, you can become the boss of your life.