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Giving Up: In Blood or Ink


By Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist

“Vivus: An Exposition Of A Volatile Mind” by Kevin Sheehan  is available in digital and in print on Amazon.com!

Regardless of weekly content, this column is designed to help others expand their way of thinking and promote creativity, empathy, and thought in general.

Author’s Note: Hey everybody! I wanted to share the same sentiments I felt at this exact same time last year. Please enjoy this article, and I will see you next week!


Every artist has paintings they are proud of and others that are just there. Every musician has songs they enjoy playing more than others. While I do not consider myself an artist, there are even articles I am proud of- and articles I am not.

My favorite articles are ones that to this day, I can read, and it still means something. Repetition can wash away meaning in anything we do, so if it is truly special, we know it in our heart. To me, that’s the difference between writing in blood or ink. If I consider something to be written in blood, it is a part of me. If I consider it written in ink, I believe it is a piece of work I have done, which I hope someone finds more meaning in it than I currently hold.

All of this leads me to my current thought process: the art of giving up.

Giving up or giving in is an art. We like to think that valiant efforts mean something if we do not accomplish our goal. While I firmly believe that efforts do count for something, an unaccomplished goal is just that – still a goal. Whatever progress to the dreams you have in your head that you made is progress, yes. But goals were made to be accomplished.

That is why through life experience we learn to make goals more realistic as we grow older. When I was a kid, I wanted a Lamborghini (to be fair, I still want one). But now, it is not a goal because I need to be realistic for myself and my situation. I need to focus my efforts towards reasonable goals and accomplishments, and when I achieve many of them, I may one day work toward getting a Lamborghini (Actually I won’t, because maintenance and insurance is ridiculous. I try to be practical).

We can let obstacles that are not obstacles stop us from achieving our goals (Notice I say goals and not dreams because dreams convey a sense of fantasy, and goals are mature desires for achievements). Our brain can obsess over these phobias or obstacles, and we will fall short because we cannot rise above it. But, just think for a second – what if we do rise above it? Mind over matter is very true in most cases, often your biggest obstacle is yourself.

What if things get hard? What if you’re exhausted. and don’t know how to continue? You have to keep pushing, and you have to keep going. Nothing great was achieved without work.

A songwriter I love said in a song “Crappy (edited for content) music just ain’t worth making” and while I may not enjoy s***ty music, at the end of the day, the musician made it. Even if he is not proud of it, it is his. It is a testament to his resilience, and it may be a milestone to spur further progress.

So with all of this being said – my feelings of dissatisfaction with my own work, goals not being achieved, obstacles, and falling short, all I want to say is that there will be those days, weeks, months. There will be those times you are not proud of your best efforts. There will be times when you wonder if your goals are realistic. There will be times when you want to give up, and there will be goals we do give up on. This does not make you a failure, it makes you human, and that’s okay.

The early bird gets the worm is an understated saying. He wakes earlier than the other birds, and flies faster than the other birds, but he still gets the worm because he put in the effort and work and time.

You – yeah, you – don’t give up. Life will be so much better if we strive for the world we wanted when we were younger. While we may reach for the stars and never get quite there, we may soar in the sky, and I’ll take that rather than being stuck on the ground any day.

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