"I can't do what I love because..."

Do your particular circumstances make it seem impossible to do what you love? Do you find yourself (if you're being really honest) feeling a bit jealous of those that have made it - that seem to have been luckier or have had it a bit easier?

Other people might come from more fortunate backgrounds, be better educated, better connected, younger, older(!), or free of the responsibilities of a family.

It is NOT always a level playing field, so what can we do about the very real obstacles that stand in the way of doing what we love?

Well, in the 2nd of a series of videos with me, John Williams, and Head Coach at Screw Work Let's Play, Selina Barker, we talk about luck and what to do about the obstacles in your way.

Leave a comment and tell us about your obstacles

Tell us about your situation and get our (and others') help on it!

Russian Edition of Screw Work Let's Play, К ЧЕРТЯМ РАБОТУ

PS. Screw Work Let's Play is now in 8 languages

I just received a copy of the Russian version today, "К ЧЕРТЯМ РАБОТУ!"

You can order it here.



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  • Medicitamara

    i can do what i love because i have talent ,i have a nice voice and good appearance

  • Julie Cumberland1

    Cos just as you get up and going with what you love, you lose the regular income you had that was enabling the bridge to the new life and bang, you are held back by having to go through the old mill to pay the bills.  Buggar, buggar, buggar.

  • Muriel Lauvige

    completly agreed! I travelled a lot for work (humanitarian work) and people always say, oh you are soo lucky... but never think about the doubt, the efforts, and other sacrifices you have to make, I don't believe in luck but in focus! 

  • Jenny

    Thank you for that.  I've been exhausted by a medical condition for two decades and I've mostly done what I love with what energy I've had.  Now I'm learning how to make money at it, I've just completed my first play project!  Not luck, but determination, courage and hard work meeting the right advice for a distracted scanner.  PS John, I always put my needles in the hold... will they not even allow that now?

  • Yes it is no easy thing you make stretch across the gap between 2 careers! It's often a really business and difficult time. The starting is relatively easy and it does get easier later!

  • That sounds awful Jenny. Really glad you're coming back from it and making progress. 
    Re needles, I carry them in the cabin because they're packaged with the drug itself. The bigger challenge is getting them not to XRay it!

  • Aha, we can tell you're not English Tamara - you're not cursed with the 'playing it small' rule!

  • Jenny

    Sometimes it's been awful... but it's given me a kind of freedom too.  I don't have to fear giving up the 9-5 because I never had the 9-5 but more importantly I've never had to think like someone who has had years of 9-5, operating within a corporate culture and having someone else impose structure.  I'm probably unemployable but that's okay!  Sometimes your barriers contain your gifts.

  • When a normal life has been denied to you, you have to make up your own life. That's why some of the greatest changemakers are outsiders, or disabled or otherwise different. Look at just the number of entrepreneurs who are dyslexic for instance.

  • So true, my friends used to say, 'ah you're so lucky.' They completely ignored the fact that I worked hard and had to be super courageous to do the things I did. They thought courage just came easy to me when in reality I am often crippled by fears and still go ahead. How can I do something I love now that I am responsible to provide for my daughter and want to stay close? I love to travel and make new experiences. I can still find ways in smaller doses. Most of all, unleashing my creativity is a HUGE adventure into my inner world. It's really enriching my life and I won't shut that part off anymore.

  • jo

    how can i do what i love when i don't know what that is and my day job sucks the life out of me and takes what energy i have. i have a long term illness also to contend with and tend to crash and burn when i get home!  The illness is exacerbated by stress so i think this is would be more manageable if i could loose this type of work and do what i love....

  • Nina L

    I have a very recent example of this, not related to work, but to circumstances. I love running and had got to a point where I was letting a dodgy knee tendon and once-broken foot stop me doing it completely because not running on hard surfaces meant I couldn't join a club or do a lot of races and routes.
    I was in the Olympic stadium watching the incredible moment when Richard Whitehead won gold in the 200m at the Paralympics (if you haven't seen it, it's on YouTube) and it made me realise that I had been making really lame excuses about my own ability to run. Right there and then I promised myself I was going to find a way to run, find something that worked for me and stop making those excuses. 
    To cut a long story (with gym & running details) short, I ran 5km on Saturday morning at "Parkrun" for the second time in 3 weeks. I've rediscovered something I love doing because I stopped letting circumstances get in the way. 
    Now to translate that into my working life....

  • Brilliant, Nina! There's always a way - even if it means seeing a good cranial osteopath (my favourite approach for such things)

  • Selina

    Absolutely Muriel!

  • Selina

    Wouldn't it be beautiful if we were to say to one another 'you're so brave I really admire you' rather than 'you're so lucky'? Let's remember that next time we are about to say how 'lucky' someone is and acknowledge them instead. I acknowoledge YOU Brigitte for how flipping courageous you are! x S

  • Selina Barker

    Hi Jo, well your health is THE most important thing at this stage and giving yourself the space and time to simply do things you love, ANYthing, forget whether you can imagine it being work-related is the place to start - that is where the play process - getting paid to play - starts. If your job is causing you the stress that is exacerbating your illness then I suggest looking at a stop-gap job - something that brings in the money you need for now, something you can do with ease and that gives you the space, time and energy to explore what you love to do.

  • Janeway2145

    I've got a job that saps all my energy, and I spend most evenings and weekends looking after my daughter.  I'm a lone parent and have no other support. I also have a long term medical condition.  I find that I'm physically and mentally exhausted by the end of the day. 

  • jo

    thanks Selina,, guess i'm impatient!

  • Cillabella

    Since I joined you guys my mindset has completely changed!


    Before:  I'm so unlucky, my husband died 7 years ago and left me to raise our
    4 kids all on my own, I'm stuck in a boring job with a long commute and I can't
    do anything about it because I'm an expat and they provide my working papers. 
    To work in France, I would have to apply for citizenship.  I have a long tiring
    commute and I just have to wait until I retire to have time to dedicate to all
    my passions.


    After:  What are my passions and how can I manage to spend at least a little
    time doing them everyday?  I love art, music, cooking, people, gardening, my
    country house, knitting, sewing, weaving and painting.  Now since my kids are
    practically grown and don't really need me except as a role model, I better be a
    good one!  So here are the steps I need to follow: apply for French citizenship,
    quit my job, do something I love at least 20 minutes a day, create a website,
    talk about it on Facebook, get some support on the 30 day challenge, find an
    accountability partner, try  a couple of mock-up painting workshops in the
    country with friends and see how I enjoy cooking for them with the fruits of my
    garden, take pictures and post, and advertise! Tada!  I'm a new person