Interruption to our usual broadcast…

Change = Growth

Welcome back readers. This week, I had planned to continue writing about the 3 sides to Self and go into more detail on our physical Self. However, with the current world health crisis and the economic fall out resulting from it, I have decided to change my plan. I think this is the perfect time to discuss an important life skill, Dealing with Change.

I think it is fair to say that there aren’t many people at the moment who’s lives haven’t changed in the past few weeks. Our normal routines have been interrupted and in some cases totally up ended. The security we have felt in our jobs and our day to day life has been shaken. This is change on a massive scale. We have heard all the quotes before, “Change is a sign of life”

“Without change there is no growth”

“The pain of change is worth the struggle”

And while I do whole heartedly agree with these views, the uncertainty of our current situation and the extent of it’s reach will put even the most positive people to the test. So today I want to share with you my view on living and growing through change.

I had originally thought I would title this post “Coping with Change” however I decided that the word “Coping” implies we are powerless in this situation and the best we can do for is to ride it out and hope for the best. When we look at it as “Living and growing with change” we are able to take back our personal power and be in control of our own future, even in these uncertain times.

Now that’s all well and good, you may be thinking, but exactly how can we go from being reactive to proactive when so much of what is happening is out of our control?

I think it is fair to say that with any change, planned change is easier to deal with than unexpected change. And this situation we are in now, well to be honest, unexpected doesn’t even come close to describing it. It is the unexpected changes in our life that really rock our foundations.

So what do we do? I think it is important to first of all take time to step back. When faced with life changing situations that feel completely out of our control, we need this time to calm ourselves. Some people call this grounding or centering and can be achieved through meditation, breathing exercises, prayer or simply finding a quiet spot and slowing down and releasing our thoughts and fears. This is an important first step as what I suggest next works best when we begin with a clear mind free (as much as possible) from fear and doubt.

Now that we are in a calm mindset we can begin to take charge as much as possible in this time of uncertainty and change. I want to make it clear that even when our lives feel like they are going to shit, there are things that are in our control. I will be focussing on three of those things. They are: perception, resilience and action.

I want to start with perception because I truly believe that our perceptions create our reality. As many of us (myself included) are now facing unemployment due to large scale shut down of industry, our perception will massively impact what we believe to be possible. For my own situation, I can choose to perceive the huge question mark on my life as a negative, “When will I get paid again? How will I pay the bills? Will I lose my house?” or I can choose to perceive that same question mark as being full of possibilities, “How can I use this time to do something I am passionate about? What can I learn now that will help me when things calm down and stability returns?” This does not mean I ignore the things that need to be done, but with my perception focussed on possibilities I am in a better mental state to find solutions to those problems.

With our minds grounded and our perception focussed on possibilities rather than fear of the unknown I am simultaneously and with out even trying, increasing my resilience. Word Nerd fact: Resilience comes from the Latin word “Salire” which means to jump and has the added bonus of the prefix “Re” with means to do again. So with resilience, we are able to literally, bounce back again and again. Maintaining this resilience is not easy sometimes. Believe me, I do understand that. It is important however to know that it is always possible. If you are having a hard time believing me, take a moment to think of the hardest times you have had in your life that, at the time, you thought would be the end of you. Now if you’re reading this then it mustn’t have actually been the end. You made it through. Yeah sure, your life might not be the same as it was before but you survived . You are still here. You have resilience. You can now bounce back with the knowledge that if you could do it before, you can do it again.

The last point I want to discuss is action. Even when our normal lives have been upended, there is always actions we can take. They may be physical actions such as learning new skills, taking a risk on fulfilling the dreams we have been putting off (seriously, what have you got to lose?) or simply keeping fit to help maintain our physical health. Or they may be mental actions such as practicing gratitude for the things we still have in our lives or setting goals and planning our next move.

Throughout all of this it is important to remember that when it seems like our lives will never be the same, you may be right, they might actually turn out much better than before. When all we know has been taken from us, we can start fresh and create the future we want.

I truly believe that. I hope you do too.

If you are finding it hard to deal with these uncertain times, I urge you to reach out and talk to someone. Whether it is a counselling service, national help line or a supportive friend or family member, I can’t stress enough how important it is to talk. Get those fears out of your head so you can focus on what is possible. Feel free to contact me on the email below or through my Facebook (@Prioritise-You) or Instagram page ( if you would like to simply talk with me or make use of my Life Coaching services. Together we can begin setting those goals for your future.

Thank you for reading.

Stay safe and more importantly, stay positive.


danokeeffe@prioritise-you. com

Spiritual Self

Spirituality. There, I said it. Something most men do not talk about yet whether we acknowledge it or not, it is innately part of us. When a lot of people hear the word spirituality, they immediately think one of two things: being told how to live by priests in church or airy-fairy type people who leave their life choices to the flow of the universe. I believe this misunderstanding of what spirituality is, has led many people to deny its existence within themselves. This week I am going to explain my view on spirituality and why it is important for all of us to create our own understanding of what it means. In no way am I expecting you all to simply accept my concept on the topic. I would love it though, if it just got you thinking about your own view. If this topic seems boring to you, please push through, hopefully by the end I have given you a starting point if spirituality isn’t something you generally think about. And if you already have your own concepts, I’d love to hear from you and see how my ideas fit with yours.

I am a bit of a word nerd so to begin, lets look at the word itself. Spirituality. If we look at the word as a whole, it means (according to the Collins Dictionary) “the state or quality of being dedicated to God, religion or spiritual values”. This fits with the common view I mentioned above. But the disconnect comes when a person has no identify with a religion or has not developed their own concept of spiritual values.

In order to help develop a new understanding, I am going to break the word down. Spirit-ual-ity. The word is made from the base word “spirit” and two suffixes “al” and “ity”. Lets first look at the suffix “ity” (quick refresher, a suffix adds meaning to a base word). “ity” indicates the condition or quality of the base word. The other suffix “al” means “related or pertaining to” the base word. so together, “UALITY” means possessing the conditions or qualities related to the base word (in this case “spirit”).

You may be thinking Ok Dan, that’s great but get to the point.

This understanding doesn’t change our original meaning of spirituality if the base word spirit is only thought of from a religious point of view or one that sees the word spirit as talking about our souls (or ghosts or supernatural beings). But what if we look at the word spirit in some other ways. A quick google search of online dictionaries came up with 16 different definitions for the word spirit. One thing I noticed most of them have in common is that the definitions related to energy.

And this is my point, When we think of spirit as being our own personal energy, it becomes something real, something we experience everyday rather than something ethereal and out of reach of our understanding. So to rebuild our word, spirituality, it now means qualities or conditions related to personal energy.

In my last blog post “3 sides to Self” I spoke about the importance of maintaining our spiritual self. The way in which we do that is as varied and individual as we are. For those who do hold religious beliefs, it may come in organised worship of your chosen God. For those who have explored spirituality deeper, it may come through meditation and pursuit of connection with universal energies (spirit). And for those who may not have ever put much thought into their own spirituality, it may come through making time to do what energises you. What lifts your energy levels or in some cases calms your energy levels. For me personally, mindfulness and spending time by the water helps to focus my energy and taking a long ride on my motorbike or surfing helps to refill my energy.

Before I finish, I want to add a side note, and I think this is important to remember. Science has shown that energy can never be used up, it is simply transformed. When our phone is low on power, we think of it as having “used” the electrical energy it had stored in its battery when in actual fact, rather than having “used” that power, it has transformed it into light, heat and movement. All different types of energy. The other thing to note is that our whole universe, everything we know to exist, is energy condensed into different forms. Once we realise this, we can understand that our personal energy, our “spirit” can never be run dry although from time to time we may need to “connect” to another source in order to recharge and grow.

What do you connect to? How do you recharge your spirit?

Let me know in the comments below or email me at


The 3 Sides To Self

Welcome back to those who have been here before and hello to any new readers. In my last 2 posts I introduced myself and spoke a little bit about the topic of Self-Help, how some of us are reluctant to pursue it and why it’s important to push past self imposed resistance to bettering our selves.

This week we will begin the journey of actually prioritising You. So let’s get into it.

To begin, we need to fully understand what “Self” is. After all, how can you prioritise You if you don’t have a decent understanding of who you are. There are many theories around this topic. My theory is just that, a theory. It is how I look at my Self and my place in this world. It may fit well with you or it may not. Either way I hope you get something from my explanation, no matter how small it may seem at the time.

When I talk about prioritising you, I am speaking about not only making time for yourself but also setting goals and finding direction. To get the most out of this, I think of my Self as three separate, yet intimately linked aspects. They are my Physical, Social and Spiritual Self. The reason I see these areas as being separate aspects that all overlap and inter-relate with each other is that it helps to focus on what’s important at various times in my life. Before we go much further, I want to clarify the Spiritual aspect. This does not need to be every Sunday at Church or chanting in the moonlight while playing the drums. These things may be right for some people but for others it may be as simple as spending time in nature. Slowing down, mindfulness, allowing yourself to “be” in the moment (For me personally, time in the ocean, by the lake or riding my motorbike are my spiritual exercises at the moment). This topic will be explored in future posts.

Our lives and our happiness are fluid. That is, we are constantly flowing through different states of being. We all have times where we are happy, sad, angry, calm, motivated, positive or struggling. By being able to look at our Self as being comprised of three different areas, we can focus our efforts on the area that is needed at that time.

For example, if you want to improve your overall happiness or contentment in life, try looking at how each of these areas are being balanced. Are you “full” in one area at the expense of another? Are you spending time at the gym, fulfilling your physical and social aspects but with out realising it, a little bit empty in the spiritual side of life?

Alternatively, do you invest a lot of yourself in spiritual activities which at the same time withdraw you from the physical world and those in your immediate circle of influence?

They key I find is to strike a balance between the three aspects of Self. This balance will change as life does but by being aware of it, we can ensure our investment of time and effort is in the right place.

The three aspects are also especially important when we set ourselves goals. Goal setting is important and will be covered in more detail in future posts to give it the time it deserves. Briefly put though, before you begin to set goals for yourself and your life, spend some time thinking about the reason or motivation behind wanting the change in the first place. Which aspect of Self does this motivation stem from? By understanding this, you may be in a better place to identify possible obstacles to success or achievement of your goal.

So remember, while there is only one You, there is more than one part of you. Your whole Self is influenced and shaped by multiple aspects. But most importantly, YOU are in control of how those aspects shape you and your life.

Prioritise You. You’re too important to be second on your own list.

Let me know if you have any questions or would like any of these ideas explained in more detail in future posts.

What part of your Self will you prioritise this week?


Why is Self Help a dirty word?

I like to read. I always have. I love browsing the aisles of bookshops and second hand shops searching for that next title that I can lose myself in or learn something new from. I have found though that something in me changes when I hit the self help section. I become more aware of who might notice me looking at titles like “How to win friends and influence people” (a great book by the way), “The subtle art off not giving a F**k”, “Thinking fast and slow” or any of the other hundreds of inspirational sounding titles. It’s a similar feeling I used to have as a young guy in the video shop “accidentally” looking through the adult section (I imagine anyway, if I did that).

So why is it like that? Is it just me? I imagine I’m not the only person self conscious about reading self help books. I have a feeling it’s not such a big deal for women but for us guys, well, we’re just supposed to either know how to succeed or just suck it up and accept our lot in life. I feel that possibly if I was to be looking at self help books aimed at finances or physical health then it wouldn’t be so bad but if I’m wanting to read about how to just be happy in life, or spiritual wellness, then that’s just something that guys shouldn’t do. Right?


The way I see it is, if I want my car to run better, I send it to the mechanic. If I want my garden to grow better, I research how to make it the best it can be, if I want to learn a new skill, I look for books that can give me that insight.

Well personal happiness is no different. Because happiness is a fluid state of being, that is, it is always changing (no one is 100% happy 100% of the time) it can be easy for us to think we are doing something wrong. I have found that reading those self help books can definitely help.

As with any book, there are some that are better than others and no single book suits everyone. The trick is to push through our self imposed paranoia of the self help section. That’s right, it’s my own issue that I think others are judging me. And if by chance they actually are, well, I’ve now come to a place of acceptance with my own desire to be the best I can be so they can judge me all they want. I’m going to continue to smile.

Happy Reading


Welcome To Blog Post #1

Well here I am, finally putting pen to paper (so to speak). Welcome to what has been nothing more than an idea for many years.

Prioritise You

But before I get too far into it, I’d better let you know who I am what this Blog is all about.

My name is Dan O’Keeffe and to be honest, I am just an average guy. I am not a psychologist, motivational speaker, or yoga guru. I am an average guy who has learnt quite a lot in his average life. But most importantly, I am happy. It is this happiness (or more to the point, the paths I have found that helped me find this happiness) that I will be sharing with you in this blog.

I live in New South Wales, Australia. I am a father of 2. My careers have not been anything star studded however they have been widely varied. From retail management, riding racehorses, primary school teaching and now I have begun a new journey as I head towards certification for life coaching. Oh, and apparently I’m a blogger now too. These varied vocations have given me many insights into people, relationships and most importantly, myself. My life path definitely hasn’t been terrible but I have seen my share of challenges, battled depression and come out the other side armed with even more knowledge of myself and what I want to be in this world.

Over the coming months you will find this site will grow and be filled with help and insights into building the life you want. If you are interested in setting goals for yourself, recognising the barriers to your success and creating a life with the happiness you deserve then follow along as I take this journey in the world of blogging and be sure to subscribe to be part of the growth of Prioritise You.

Happy Reading


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