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Mastering Self Discipline

October 6, 2019

© Carole Kanchier, PhD

 “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Mahatma Gandhi

Willpower is the ability to control oneself and determine one’s actions, displaying self-control within and without. You can learn to have control over yourself to attain desired success.

Although there are many important qualities that can contribute to a person’s achievements and happiness, there is only one that begets sustainable, long term success in all aspects of life: self discipline. Whether its in terms of your diet, fitness, work ethic or relationships, self discipline is the number one trait needed to accomplish goals lead a healthy lifestyle, and ultimately be happy.

Research suggests people with high self control are happier than those without self discipline. They did not allow their choices to be dictated by impulses or feelings. Instead, they made informed, rational decisions on a daily basis without feeling stressed.

Self-Discipline Tips

  1. Wake up early and make your bed every morning. This sets the tone and the pattern of discipline for the rest of the day.
  2. Know your weaknesses. We all have weaknesses Whether they are snacks like potato chips or watching video games. They have similar effects on us. Acknowledge your shortcomings, whatever they may be. You can not overcome these until you own up to your flaws.
  3. Remove temptations. ”Out of sight out of mind.” This phrase offers powerful advice. By removing your biggest temptation from your environment you will improve self-discipline. If you want to eat healthier, don’t buy junk food
  4. . Exercise. Do something physical. This gives you momentum in the right direction. Exercise also has real physiological impacts on the body and mind that pay dividends all day. Eat healthy food.
  5. Create a to-do list and complete the tasks. Outline a schedule or task list and execute it. Write the list the night before, and then do what you said you would do.
  6. 6. Do the things that make you uncomfortable (your weaknesses) Don’t let your preconceived ideas of who you are get in the way of growing into who you want to be. If speaking to a group is uncomfortable, find opportunities to practice it. If running at the track makes you uncomfortable, go run.
  7. Set clear goals and have an execution plan. Have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Break the goal down to small, doable steps. Create a mantra to keep yourself focused. Make a commitment to yourself and keep it. When you really want something, you will find a way. When you don’t really want something, you’ll find an excuse. Set yourself a standard and adhere to it.
  8.  Be gentle with yourself. Realize everyone experiences setbacks as they work toward goals. View setbacks as learning experiences as you work toward your goal, not failures.
  9. Watch “self-talk.” Each time you catch yourself saying something that fuels your lack of confidence, say “cancel,” and replace it with a more positive statement. Shift your vocabulary from being a victim to someone with power and strength.
  10. Track progress. Write the action you want to accomplish daily (make your bed, read a chapter of a book, journal, exercise, call a friend, complete to-do list, etc.) and color in the box corresponding with the correct date once you’ve completed the action.

Work.  If you want to transform your life in a positive way, you need to make it happen. Put in the hours, the days, the weeks, the months, and the years. Get on the path to a better you and stay on the path. The road requires discipline and work.

Expand your horizons. Go beyond borders. Prepare for and welcome the unexpected. Innovate, adapt, explore, seize opportunities. Nothing is beyond reach!

Follow the examples of Questers in “Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life”:

Paramahansa Yogananda gives good advice. “Proper visualization by the exercise of concentration and willpower enables us to materialize thoughts, not only as dreams or visions in the mental realm but also as experiences in the material realm.” 

Author Bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist, coach and author of award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life.  Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, University of Alberta, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.



What’s your mission – your purpose? Having sense of purpose energizes and gives life meaning, direction, inner peace. Sharpen understanding of purpose & gain practical suggestions to clarify purpose set & achieve goals in harmony with the real you.

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Do You Dare to Change?

March 14, 2015

Dr. Carole Kanchier, career coach, author, Questers Dare to Change Your Job & Life, shares life, job satisfaction, and career decision-making tips on WTBQ Radio,

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Living With Purpose

January 12, 2015
Hi Carole, greetings from Washington DC!
I wanted to thank you for this article, not just for the content, but for using my picture!  Yes, that’s me!
I found your article very relevant.  I have two Masters Degrees and have been working for DoD for over 30 years and I can honestly say I am doing what I was born to do!  I am also a part-time actor, producer, and model and that’s how I ended up in your article.  Did you pick/approve the picture yourself, or did your publicist?
Well, again thanks!
By the way, my name is Andy, I am 53. 🙂
Take care, and best wishes!
Andy Rivera



What is a Quester?

September 16, 2014

ARE YOU A QUESTER? Would you know a Quester if you met one? Could you become one? What are Questers anyway?

Questers think of their work differently from most people. Like many, Questers will probably spend a third to half of their adult lives working or thinking about work. But unlike most people at crucial points in their careers, they set off on quests to find new challenges in their lives…

By learning about the courage and imagination Questers rely on to find career happiness and growth, you may discover ways to take better control of your career—and life. Some started taking charge of their careers early. Others were near retirement.

Maybe you share some personality characteristics Questers tend to have. Where do you fit? Take the Quester Quiz.

Why Questers Succeed

Questers are purposeful, innovative, and resilient. They view career advancement as growth of the whole person. Independent, optimistic, and often drawn to challenges, Questers have courage to risk.

Questers measure success by internal standards rather than by the “shoulds” of others. They value self-respect more than what others say about them. For them, security in a changing world must come from within.

Because they work hard and are goal-oriented, they tend to succeed. Indeed, some become billionaires or achieve celebrity. Money and prestige, however, are by-products.

Questers include the accountant turned potter, the laid off worker who created her new job, and the millionaire who started his business with $60.00.

Because Questers create self-harmonious work by choosing purposeful activities that provide meaning and direction, they tend to have higher levels of career and personal satisfaction than many others. Questers are productive, healthy, and happy well into their nineties.

How to Become a Quester Starting Today

Perhaps you’re thinking that Questers must be extraordinary or glamorous people.

 Not really. They’re individuals like you and me who face career challenges common to most. But they have learned to do something about their difficulties. They have learned to take control.

You can, too! We’re all born with Quester qualities. You see them in infants as they excitedly explore every nook and cranny in their homes. Unfortunately, as people grow older, many lose this passion for exploring and growing. That doesn’t have to be you!

Start planning for greater happiness and personal and professional growth today.

Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life shows how to rediscover, renew, and strengthen your Quester qualities.


Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life by Carole Kanchier, PhD

Softcover| 6×9 | 282 pages| ISBN 978-1-93667271-4 | $18:99; available in most ebook formats. May be ordered from most book sellers or


Author, Dr. Carole Kanchier, encourages you to reassess your views of career success, and strengthen Quester traits such as purpose and intuition to succeed. Carole Kanchier has worked with clients representing varied industries, and has taught at the University of Alberta, University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, and other institutions of higher learning. She chaired the Career Change Committee, National Career Development Association, and was Advisory Board member, College Admission Counseling Program, University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Kanchier walks her talk!


Carole Kanchier

888.206.0108; 403.695.9770

Calgary, AB, and San Francisco, CA















© Carole Kanchier, PhD

Answer yes or no:

1. I lack a sense of purpose.
2. I’m not satisfied with the way things are in my life.
3. I have a birthday within two or three years of 0.
4. I’ve been doing quite a bit of self-assessment lately.
5. I often think of quitting my job or taking early retirement.
6. My job does not satisfy my needs.
7. My lifestyle is unhealthy.
8. I’ve experienced one traumatic event in the past year.

5 or more yes responses suggest you may be disengaged from work and in a transition stage of your life cycle. If you would have responded the same way two or more years ago, get a medical checkup. Job and life dissatisfaction can seriously affect health.

Take charge
Realize we continue to change and grow throughout life. Although we all have our own rhythms of change, we generally proceed through alternating developmental and transition periods.

Transitions are times for questioning who we are and where we want to go. During developmental periods we make commitments to and work toward desired goals.

Simultaneously, we also experience the career cycle of entry, mastery, and disengagement. During entry, we enthusiastically learn new tasks. In mastery, we’re competent and productive. If our job duties are no longer challenging, we become disinterested and unproductive. Disengagement stages of career cycles tend to parallel transition stages of life cycles.

Take advantage of the growth opportunities your transition provides. Reassess needs and goals, and make necessary modifications.

Your career development is a continuing quest to improve the fit between your career and your developing personality.

“Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life” offers inspiration and tips for moving forward.


“Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life” by Carole Kanchier, PhDSoftcover| 6×9 | 282 pages| ISBN 978-1-93667271-4 | $18:99; available in most ebook formats. May be ordered from most book sellers or



What do enjoy doing on Labor Day? What does Labor Day mean to you?

Labor Day is so much a part of our culture that we rarely pause to consider its purpose and meaning. Labor Day is often more associated with fairs and a long weekend, than its original meaning – affirmation of the dignity and worth of workers.

Labor Day began in Canada in 1872, when the Toronto Trades Assembly organised the first significant workers’ demonstration to support exploited workers. In the U.S., the first Labor Day, held in 1882, stemmed form the desire of the Central Labor Union to create a workers’ holiday. Labor days are celebrated annually at different times around the world, to celebrate workers and their contributions to the economies of their countries.

Many view Labor Day as a day of rest, the end of summer, a last chance to make trips or hold outdoor events.

How has the meaning and structure of work changed since the late 19 Century?

During our great grandparents’ era, scientific management, based on the belief that most workers were stupid, introduced authoritarian procedures to increase productivity. Money was their reward. Industrial capitalism and the corporate bureaucracy strengthened the idea that only top management had intelligence to make decisions. Unions organized to give workers a greater voice.

In the 1920s, management began questioning these beliefs. Elton Mayo’s research in the 30s demonstrated workers were more motivated by recognition and social interaction than by material rewards. Companies subsequently introduced various incentives to increase employee motivation and productivity.

Ongoing technological, economic, and social changes are forcing us to continue reassessment of views regarding job satisfaction, efficiency, and career growth.

Do your attitudes belong to the 2020s or the 1920s?

– Career development: New views suggest career growth is a lifelong process of personal growth which involves a continuing quest to maintain harmony between who you are and what you do. When your position no longer fits your evolving personality, you find a more compatible job.

Your career is also a vehicle for self expression that provides a sense of purpose, direction, and satisfaction. Who you are, not what you do, is important.

Old ideas perceive career development to mean moving up the prestige ladder. Your identity is tied to your job. But if who you are is what you do, what happens when you lose your job?

– Career management: Today, nothing is certain. Benevolent organizations can’t provide security for all employees.

People with new attitudes take charge of their own careers. Instead of looking for jobs, they’re creating their own work. To stay competitive, smart people continue to upgrade professional knowledge and skills, and strengthen Quester qualities such as purpose, mind power, resilience, and creativity. These adaptable skills are needed to succeed in changing times. “Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life” show how to develop these abilities.

Those with old attitudes leave their careers in the hand of employers or government agencies. Rather than prepare for their next move, they wait for the pink slip.

– Success: Rewards are judged by personal and job satisfaction. Success is the degree to which work and lifestyle satisfy the mind, body, emotion, and soul. Status means having innovative ideas. Authenticity is important.

People with old views value money for the good things, security, and social standing.

– Human capital investment. Organizations that value employees make employee learning and involvement key business strategies. They know employee involvement and knowledge equal profit. Learning organizations create work settings that respect employees, nurture inquisitiveness and playfulness, allow privacy, and avoid criticism and stress. Some companies leverage the experience and wisdom of an entire workforce to solve a problem.

Hierarchical, top-down management structures make most decisions at the corporate office.

– Retirement: New attitudes define retirement personally. Adults plan for longevity and income sources. Age distinctions between workers and retirees are blurred. Retirement, at age 40 or older, is just another career transition – when adults continue to reassess and pursue desired goals.

Old attitudes view retirement as the resignation – sometimes mandatory – from a long-term employer at about 65, followed by years of relaxing or finally doing what one desires.

Are you ready for the changes and challenges of the 2020s? What’s next for you? “Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life” can show you how to move forward.








Strengthen Mind Power to Succeed
Research suggest that when the body is in peak condition and the trained mind is focused, an individual can achieve the extraordinary.

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Mike has emailed 500 resumes over the past few months, but still has no responses.

Is your search coming up empty? Are you knowledgeable about appropriate job-hunting strategies?

Answer True or False

1. Responding to want ads is a waste of time.

2. Effective job hunters devote many hours to research.

3. You need to sell yourself to get the right job.

4. Executive Recruiter is another name for employment agency.

5. Networking is the best single method of getting a job.

6. Job hunters get about ten interviews for every 100 resumes mailed.


1. False. While the odds of getting employment are low, you can improve your chances with creativity and effort.

Browse through all want ads in newspapers and the Internet. Answer ads that appeal to you, if you have most qualifications listed.

In addition to looking at your professional section, peruse other headings. Accounting positions could be listed under accounting as well as construction, education or other.

Identify key words used in the ads. If appropriate, use these key words to describe your skills and accomplishments in your resume.  Include concrete examples.

Call within two weeks to ensure your letter was received and reviewed. Ask how interview candidates will be chosen. State what you can offer. Request an interview.

2. True. Research is often the most neglected part of job search. Effective research can help you identify job possibilities and investigate prospective companies. Research will help you focus and shorten your search.

To identify potential positions, peruse “The Wall Street Journal,” “Business Week” and other business publications. Check Internet sites such as Ask members of your contact network. Attend career fairs, trade shows and professional conferences.

Also look for hidden job leads. A newspaper article or television story describing a new product may suggest positions with a new company or expansion of a larger one. To get information about prospective employers, check directories such as “Rich’s Guide,” “Million Dollar Directory,”  “Moody’s Complete Corporate Index,” Internet sites and personal contacts.

3. True. Think of yourself as a product to be marketed. Polish your total presentation. Dress professionally. Radiate optimism. Be positive and direct in your written and oral communication. Appear comfortable with your accomplishments and confident about your future.

Develop a portfolio to document your accomplishments. Share these with company interviewers. Include letters of recommendation from customers, commendations from superiors, company awards, and projects and professional seminars completed.

4. False. Search firms, often called executive recruiters or “headhunters,” represent employers, not job seekers. Recruiters often specialize in certain kinds of jobs, such as engineering or senior management.

If you’re conducting a national search for a senior level position, with a company employing more than 500 people, register with headhunters. But since your chances of getting a position this way are slim, use other search strategies.

Don’t deal with firms that want a fee. For information about recruiters, consult the “Directory of Executive Recruiters” or the Yellow Pages.

5. True. Networking is the best way to get a job. It enables you to increase your contacts and gives useful information, such as what unadvertised positions are available and what companies are hiring. Eighty to eighty-five percent of all employment comes from this method.

List everybody you know who might help you find employment. Keep abreast of new developments in your field, and add to your contact list by joining professional, trade, alumni, or civic groups. Create ways to meet people who are in hiring positions. Ask for introductions. Make cold calls.

6. False. Two to five for every 100 is more likely. Although direct mail (newspaper or electronic) is not productive for most, you can make it work for you.

Identify and contact the hiring managers in companies of interest. You may uncover opportunities that won’t be advertised. Show, in your letter and resume, that you have the qualifications for a particular job. List your accomplishments that best relate to the targeted position, and request an interview. Follow up with a phone call.

Persevere. Don’t be discouraged by rejections. They’re normal. If you miss one opportunity, believe you’ll get a better one. Maintain confidence. Have faith.


Carole Kanchier, PhD, psychologist, coach, speaker, columnist, and author of the award-winning, groundbreaking book, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life—informs, engages, inspires you to  realize your potential.


What kind of career decision making assistance did you receive? What kind of help are young people you know getting? Are schools doing an effective job helping students make smooth school to work transitions?

Mavis, a recent graduate, doesn’t want to practice law; she is paying off an $80,000.00 loan! Mark, in grade12, wants to travel before completing post high training. His parents are upset.

Mavis and Mark are experiencing common issues. Career indecision is a normal part of growing up.

For high school student, questions like, “Who am I?” “What should I do?” can be overwhelming. Peers, school, family, and other societal pressures contribute to anxiety.

Although university is a good place to learn more about self, meet people, and explore some career options, is a four year degree the best option for all students? Recent research by the National Center for Educational Statistics indicate that 65.6 percent of all American high school graduates enroll in university. However, studies show that about 56 percent of students complete four-year degrees within six years.

Some adolescents, who enjoy working with their hands feel pressured to attend college for financial and status reasons. Many, however, can achieve satisfaction and success without a degree. Brad, a college drop-out, has a successful computer repair business. Numerous technical, trade, and crafts workers such as drafters, electricians, and automobile mechanics earn more than university educated teachers, dietitians, and social workers.

What can schools do to assist students with post-high school plans?

Effective career education helps students acquire appropriate attitudes, knowledge, and skills in three interrelated areas.

1. Knowledge of self and others. Varied inventories and school and work experiences help students understand personal characteristics, and use this knowledge for exploration of compatible lifestyle options. Students also rehearse effective interpersonal skills.

2. Exploration of career and lifestyle alternatives. This includes the use of numerous strategies that enable students to explore compatible occupational alternatives and educational routes to job entry. Study and job search skills, money management, economic principles, and family, leisure and citizenship roles and settings are addressed, as well.

3. Decision-making and goal setting strategies. These are rehearsed and applied to all life components.

Students are encouraged to define broad career goals, and understand that career decision making in a fluid world is lifelong.

All good teachers implement many of the forgoing. They also show the relevancy of subject matter and help students develop an appreciation of lifelong learning.

Career education should be at the heart of schooling, but people need to recognize that schools cannot do everything. Ideally, educators, parents, and community members should work with students to help them prepare for working, living, and making a social contribution. Results include happy, well-adjusted, healthy, and productive adults.