Does failure have an expiration date?

Ever tried to do something and failed? Did you try again? How about again? Did you finally give up, knowing that you tried your best but just couldn't do it? Me, too. But, it turns out failure sometimes has an expiration date.

This morning I was driving in the car and "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People came on the radio. There's a section in the song where the chorus is done in whistling. When that part came on, I broke out in a beautifully lyrical whistle. But, the thing is...I can't whistle.

When I was a kid, I tried to learn how to whistle countless times. I couldn't blow out and make any sound. Throughout my adolescence, I'd try and fail. Whistling was something out of my reach.

As an adult, I suppose I forgot about whistling. It's something I'm never around. But, when that chorus kicked in on the radio, I instinctively whistled my little heart out. And as soon as I was about five second in, the shock set in. Amber...can...whistle!

Are there things you've tried in your life and failed at? Starting a business. Balancing a budget. Writing a book. We all have things we've tried to do which ended in failure. Most of us have even tried multiple times before we decided to give up. But, it's never too late to try again.

Who cares if a year has passed. Or five or ten. Maybe that break is just what you needed. Perhaps the life experience you've obtained during that time, your environment, your mindset, or some other circumstance has changed just enough to turn that former failure into a raging success.

So, today, I invite you to revisit something which you previously failed at during your life. A big thing or a small one. It doesn't matter. Just give it another try. Who knows. Maybe your failure has an expiration date just like mine did.

* Disclaimer: I never really knew the words to "Pumped Up Kicks" until I wrote this post. Click here for the lyrics and an interesting debate on the meaning behind the song, some defending it saying it's about bullying and others upset that it's about school shootings.


  1. Amber, aloha. Absolutely love the idea of failure having an expiration date. 

    Though I cannot recall a specific example, I do know that I have had experiences similar to yours where something that I was unable to do for a long time, I am suddenly able to do. Thanks for the reminder.

    Enjoy a glorious weekend.  Aloha. Janet

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Janet. Glad to know you've had the same experience!

  3. I loved the Title of this post! :)
    Reminding me of how I wanted to learn Guitar, but even failed to just start learning! 
    Let me give it a try! :)

  4. Hi Kelvin! Thanks for that. Yes! Try the guitar again. You never know, you may be a musician at heart. Release your inner talent!

  5. Maybe I might turn up as an rockstar one day with good practice to eh! Problem is the first start! :) 

  6. You know Amber - I had never thought of this before.  I'm a big believer of "Say it & it will be true".  So maybe when you were a kid you were telling yourself you couldn't whistle & as an adult - at that moment - you forgot to tell yourself you couldn't do it!  Amazing!  Maybe the secret is in catching your subconscious unaware - which is why I'm at my visually creative best whilst watching tv :) 

  7. I love that thought, Judy! Yes, perhaps that's it exactly!

  8. Funny how I can't whistle.Maybe I should give up trying just like you did until the right moment comes...

  9. Totally had the same whistling experience! Well, not to Pumped Up Kicks, but similar in that I could NOT whistle as a child, but happily can today. Mind you, I won't stop traffic with my whistle, but it gets the job done and makes me smile. 

    I hadn't thought of it in the light you've shone in this post, but I will indeed reflect on things that I let 'expire' due to failure stopping me or persuading me otherwise.Enjoyed the post, Amber!

  10. Ha ha! Worth a try! If it worked for me, maybe it can work for you, too ;-)

  11. Howdy, Erica! Love it. Gets the job done and makes you smile. That's a win for sure!


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