Author Archive for Dr. Helen Harkness – Page 3

Stop Aging in the Workplace! 4 Ways to Defy the Myths of Aging

Shattering the Mindless Myths & Misinformation of Aging is one of the greatest challenges for the Baby Boomer Generation!

It is critical to:3083796_illustration [Converted]TEST2

  1. Develop an innovative model integrating aging and working based on current research and rapidly shifting environmental realities
  2. Realize that today’s model for aging and working can be destructive, deplorable, depressing, and invalid; and that redesigning and implementing a new pattern is essential.
  3. Shatter the stereotypes and recognize the myths, misinformation, and negative effects of ageism in our society, workplace, and ourselves.
  4. Know that age does not automatically spell decline.

Aging Myths: Physical – growing up/running down; Mental – shrinking brain; Psychological – nothing to live for; Creative – wilting inventiveness.

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Five Tips to Change Your Career

Do you read the Dallas Morning News “Five” column?

In this popular column by staff writer Hanah Cho, local experts provide five recommendations on a topic useful to small business owners and individuals.

I provided my five ways to change or refocus your career. They were:

  • Recognize Your Feelings
  • Look Inward
  • Look Outward
  • Look Forward
  • Take Action Steps

DMN_Five_Article_July_2013Read the entire article NOW!

I look forward to your additional comments on ways / steps you have taken to change or refocus your career.

Does Your Brand Have an ECHO? Brand Echonomics by Jeff Brady

As many of you may know I am an avid reader. I will sit down with my pen, paper and a book and start to read and write. I take notes about every book I read. This helps me to recall them easier, but also serves as a reminder of the things I need to take action on.

brand_echonomics_jeff_bradyI recently read Brand Echonomics: Building a Message that Matters by Jeff Brady. Jeff is a former news anchor for WFAA and is currently host of The Texas Daily. In addition, he owns public relations firm in Dallas, Brady Media Group, that focuses on storytelling for big brands.

My message to all about this book is that you need to read it to understand how to create your Brand ECHO, not only for business owners but as an individual. Storytelling is the major key to success in your personal and professional life. You tell your story to others and they amplify your story to others creating the echo. We all need more story tellers!!

Below are some of my notes from reading Jeff’s Book, Brand Echnomics and I highly recommend you read it to get the rest of the story.

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Do You Have Worklife Wisdom? As Defined by Friends of CDA

What is your definition of wisdom? How do you define this life’s goal we are all seeking?

A trait I have developed with a bit of my wisdom gained from experience is that I have a sharp crap detector! I seem to have a knack for detecting and questioning these rules and absolutes that we’re automatically supposed to accept. And when we examine them closely, we realize that they might have been true at one time in the past, but they’re not true at all now!

I am a researcher and in preparing for writing a chapter for Words of Wisdom, (co-authored by Dr. John Gray, Brian Tracy, myself and others) I reached out to CDA clients and friends for their definitions of wisdom. Here are the definitions so willing shared:

“Interesting question and one that I have pondered for a long time. I have studied the words and journey of Soloman in the Bible who was the wisest man mentioned in the Bible. I too have prayed for wisdom. It seems to me that wisdom and experience are linked together. To become wise means to have lots of different experiences in order to see things from different points of view. How can you truly understand something if you haven’t experienced it? As people get to know me, many have commented that I have done a lot. I want to be like the hospice patients I used to sit with. I want to live a full life and in order to do that you must get out there and risk. I have gone through many dirk nights and rough times, which once again, I am shaking off. The latest time has been several years long, but I am feeling better than ever and looking forward to my next growth time.

For those who are younger and less experienced, I would suggest finding mentors to guide them. I think our society does a really poor job of mentoring people these days. It is even harder for those who come from fractured families. When I speak of mentors, I am thinking of people who really know you and want to help you become your best, not those with a particular agenda of their own.

~ Deanna Schroeder

“In yoga philosophy there is a notion that we are creations of different energy bodies and that the inner most “light” of the ‘true self’ is converted by sheaths or ‘subtle bodies’. The Sanskirt word for them is Koshas. The 5 bodies are Physical, Energetic, Mental, Wisdom and Bliss Body. These bodies penetrate and make up a sense of ourselves. We often identify with our bodies, but don’t always ‘feel’ like it. Noticing the movement of the organs, the touch, sight, smell and taste of it. We recognize pain and comfort in a physical way. The energetic body hold the vitality of ourselves, when we are tired, excited, feel expansive or withdrawn and ‘invisible’ …empty. The mental body is where out ‘Samskaras’ or patterns lie. We hold close to the ideas, beliefs and thoughts that we have had that kept us alive so far.

The Wisdom Body is one of Awareness. It is an amalgam of information coming from intuition which intermixes visceral awareness with knowledge – like ‘grocking’. From Wikipedia : Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes part of the observed – to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. In a ideological context, a grokked concept become part of the person who contributes to its evolution by improving the doctrine, perpetuating the myth, espousing the belief, adding detail to the social plan, refining the idea or proving the theory. It is the closest to the bliss body, and when quieting the mental body of thoughts, the inner voice can be heard.

The Bliss Body is the closest to the ‘divine’ consciousness of the universe. Here, joy, ecstasy, dynamism and goodness.”

~ Anonymous

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Is Our Workplace a Killer?

Career Chaos is Killing Women (and Men)

Women, who have always lived longer than men in the past, are now dying younger than before.

Men die 10 years earlier than Women and NOW the Female Life Span is falling!
Is this work world now killing both men and women alike?

workplace_killerWomen who have highly demanding jobs are 38 percent more likely to have heart problems than those in less stressful positions, according to new findings from the Women’s Health Study.

Generally, women have always lived longer than men by at least 10 years. The researcher that I am, I began to ask questions of my male clients and several psychologists and MDs: “Are you aware that, as a male, you will live at least ten years less than the average female?” The men consistently responded, “Oh, I know that.”
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Are We Ready to Fight the Next War = The JOBS War?

Finding a job is a war!

It is not getting easier; it is getting harder and more difficult.

Finding the right job that you can pursue with a passion, while having meaning and money is even more difficult. This is the focus of my work with my career clients at Career Design Associates, Inc., and has been since 1978.


Now, more than ever, researching and understanding all the unexpected and rapid changes in our workworld is a necessity. The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup shares his critical insight into the current workworld.

What Everyone Wants is his major question:

“Does anyone know for sure what the whole world is thinking?”

To answer this question, Gallup created the World Poll. They discovered that what the whole worlds wants is a good job.

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Tips for Entering the Age of Innovation

Our workworld is moving rapidly into the Age of Innovation! The key to career success today is quite different from what we were taught in the past. It is not stability and specialization in one field, and the “40 year Womb to Tomb” but flexibility with expertise, creativity and the ability to cross borders and boundaries, to solve problems, meet challenges and work independently, as well as with others. I have labeled this the “Yo Yo Career ModelYou’re On Your Own”.

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Recession Proof Your Coaching Career

During my three decades as a career coach in Dallas – helping adults replace the conventional personality Type A or Type B with the Type CC (the Career Change Catalyst) – I have experienced an infinite number of “dark nights” of recession similar to our current one. I have survived and thrived despite crisis changes and the rise and collapse of countless industries, including my original profession, teaching. In the mid-70s, Ph.D.’s were driving buses and painting houses. My reality was that a Ph.D. and a dime could get a cup of coffee. Consider the major industries in Dallas that have “boomed and busted:” oil, finance and banking, real estate, telecom corridor and dot coms. As residential real estate faces new challenges, all businesses face threats from international competition.
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Are you happy? Do you have “Ikigai”?

One of my goals for a decade has been to connect the Science of Chaos and Complexity from physics to the rapidly developing Science of Well Being from the recent focus on Positive Psychology.

An article “Ikigai and Mortality” by Christopher Peterson, Ph.D., September 17, 2008, published in Psychology Today certainly validates the necessity to feel we have a worthwhile purpose in spite of our current, constant uncertainties.

Helping clients to find this purpose is my life’s work. I found my Ikigai in 1978, which was no easy task. I had gone through a divorce, a burned down house, the tragic death of a sister and a career change all within a few short years. Everyone has a “dark night” before they arrive at their purpose on the other side. If I hadn’t gone through the years of “dark nights” I wouldn’t have arrived at my purpose – my “Ikigai”!

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Daniel Pink, Flip and what I “Crone-like” labeled “Crap in the Workplace”!

FLIP: 16 Counter Intuitive Ideas About Motivation, Innovation, and Leadership


Daniel H. Pink, Author, Free Agent Nation, A Whole New Mind and Drive has written a collection called FLIP: 16 Counter Intuitive Ideas About Motivation, Innovation, and Leadership. It’s a quick read of much of what I have rather “crone like”- labeled “crap in the workplace”. Pink shares his insights gained through research and travel on the current workplace.

You may have gathered by now I discuss “crap” a lot, especially in relation to aging, the workplace and the current jobs war. “Chronological Age is Crap” and “Sharp Crap Detector” are two of the key phrases I am most known for recently, prefaced only by “Freedom is Knowing Your Options” – the creed in which my business, Career Design Associates, Inc. was founded in 1978. Read More→