Using Your Unveiling Archetypes to Clarify and Build Your Franklin-Covey Day Planner (TM) Roles
For years, I’ve been a fan of the Franklin Covey Day Planner (FCDP) system. I’ve found it especially useful when I’ve juggled (as many of us have) multiple roles, competing priorities, and “to-do lists” that simply run off the page.
In particular, I’ve enjoyed the synergy – within the FCDP system – of using the Day Planner itself, the Monthly Priorities right after each monthly calendar page (it takes me an extra page, front and back, to list all my “priorities” and “tasks” – but at least they’re on paper, and not jamming up my mind), and the “Weekly Compass Cards.”
It’s this last tool that is particularly significant. This is because the “Weekly Compass Cards” ask us to look at each of our “roles” in life (wife, mother, team leader at work, etc.), and identify a few “most significant” tasks supporting that role for the week ahead.
Connecting our “roles” with our “priorities” and “tasks” gives us a lot of clarity and self-definition. It’s a way of creating some boundaries – and a bit of focus – for each of the roles which we inhabit.
What I’ve found particularly useful is to take this one step further.
In Unveiling, I identify six core archetypes. These are the six different “power modes” that we can – and should – access and integrate to achieve maximum personal effectiveness. In fact, identifying, knowing, and cultivating each of these distinct “modes” is the first challenge on our mature adult life-journey. Integrating these roles or modes is something that we do as a personal “capstone project” – the culmination of this stage of adult personal growth. (We generally do this sometime in our mid- to late-forties.)
Here’s where it gets interesting. Each of our archetypal roles puts us into a different state. We are in very different states when we are in our Hathor (playful, sensual, fun-loving) role, versus when we are being an Emperor (building and maintaining structures and order). In practical terms, we are in very different states when we are preparing to go out on a fun date, or for an outing with our girlfriends, than when we are doing a monthly progress report at work.
Now, these archetypal roles are not something that I’ve made up. Rather, they were identified hundreds – and possibly thousands – of years ago, by the seers and sages who developed the ancient Kabbalah, or “Tree of Life.” There is a huge mystical underpinning to the Kabbalah, which I won’t address here. Suffice to say – these different archetypes are very formally derived; they’re not picked at random. And there’s a connection between them and the Major Arcana of the Tarot (which I develop substantially in Unveiling) and also with the Jungian Psychological Types, which most of us understand via the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, or MBTI. (So if you think of yourself as an “Introvert” or an “Extrovert,” you owe that thought to the MBTI. If you understand yourself to be someone who would rather “Feel” than “Think” your way through a life situtaion, ditto.)
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Male or female, every one of us needs each of the six core archetypes. But we individually and uniquely combine these archetypes in different ways in order to fulfill our life roles.
For example, one of my evolving roles is to be a salonniere. This is a combination of three archetypes; Hathor (pleasure, for myself and others, particularly intellectual stimulation), Isis (nurturing – by bringing people together and providing a warm and convivial environment), and Magician (a “masculine” archetype – creating “magic,” or making something from nothing). Organizing Salon involves connecting with people via phone, email, and regular surface mail, as well as a host of organizational tasks. But because the focus is on a particular kind of experience, all the relevant tasks get grouped into supporting a certain role, and I can characterize that role as invoking three different archetypes.
In another role, I am strictly in one of my Amazon modes. And not just any, ordinary Amazon mode, but specifically in my Emperor mode. When we’re in our Emperor mode, we are rational, logical, and task-oriented, with a goal of building or maintaining structures and systems. These can be managing a project at work, planning all the children’s activities for the summer, organizing a church event, or as simple as balancing our checkbook or making up a grocery shopping list. The key to our Emperor role is: rational, task-focused, and project-completion focused, with an emphasis on building or maintaining structures.
This helps me put all of my “life maintenance” tasks under a single role, whether they are financial, logistic, communications, or even computer-cleanup. They all support building the “structure” of daily life.
The challenge – for each of us – is to identify our seven dominant roles. (More than that and our minds start to wobble.) Then, to figure out which of our core archetypes we are invoking in each role. Then we can do a more complete – and satisfying – job of identifying which priorities and tasks we have within each role.
A year ago, I didn’t need to use the FCDP system quite so much. To the exclusion of almost everything else, except the barest level of survival and life-maintenance, I had only one role: I was a writer. My entire life was focused on writing (and re-writing), editing (and re-editing), proofing (and you get the idea …) Unveiling.
Well, now Unveiling is done. It should be available to you within two weeks. (And you can pre-order now, through Cleo’s Closet – the ONLY way that you’ll confidently get signed, dated, and numbered copies – I think the numbering is around 130 right now, and growing fast.)
Instead of focusing on just one role (writing), I now have many roles – marketing, teaching, preparing talks, fundraising for various non-profits, organizing and hosting salon – and oh yes, research and writing. And performing. (More on that shortly.)
Transitioning from a “one-role” mindset to a “many roles” mindset is a big job. I’ve started using the FCDP in earnest once again. But to clarify my different roles, for the first time, I’ve had access to the Unveiling archetypes, and they’re helping me make more sense of which role requires what kind of energy or “modality.”
I spent last Sunday morning working through my roles-and-archetypes association. It felt a bit strange at first, but made sense after a while.
This morning, I started filling out my Weekly Compass Card for the this week, as well as the monthly Priorities and Tasks for July. Using the archetypes to help clarify what tasks go with which roles is helping a lot! (And yes, I’m using a bit of white-out as I move things around, but the mental organization is helping me to create more structure, more order, and more sense – being very Emperor about how I’ll fit some Hathor (pleasure), Isis (nurturing), and High Priestess (prayer and meditation) time into my life!