The Storm: A Leadership Booklet and Blog #16

THE STORM Chapter 16: Got Excuses

“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” – Andrew Carnegie


Why This Matters: Chapter 16, “Got Excuses?” explores the theme of taking responsibility for one’s actions and choices. Granddaddy’s insights, inspired by Andrew Carnegie’s quote, emphasize the crucial role of self-motivation and the importance of perseverance and determination in achieving success. The chapter challenges readers to overcome the fear of failure, avoid making excuses, and take control of their choices through the powerful principle of “GOYA” (Get Off Your Anatomy).

Essential Question for Readers: “How does the concept of taking responsibility, as explored by Granddaddy through the ‘GOYA’ principle, influence our approach to overcoming challenges, avoiding excuses, and achieving success through self-motivation and determination?”


Chapter Summary

Chapter 16 of “Got Excuses?” explores the theme of taking responsibility for one’s actions and choices. The chapter begins with a quote from Andrew Carnegie, emphasizing that self-motivation is crucial for avoiding mediocrity. Dakota engages in a conversation with his Granddaddy, focusing on the importance of perseverance and determination.

The dialogue centers on Dakota’s wrestling experiences and the concept of deciding to win. Granddaddy challenges the idea that simply deciding to win is the sole determinant of success, stressing that winning results from the hard work and preparation that position an individual for success. The conversation delves into the fear of failure and the temptation to use excuses when faced with challenges.

Granddaddy introduces the concept of “GOYA” (Get Off Your Anatomy), emphasizing the need to take action and responsibility for one’s outcomes. He points out the common tendency to blame external factors, such as teachers or circumstances, for poor results, and encourages Dakota to recognize the power of personal choice.

The chapter explores the dynamics of success and failure, highlighting the importance of effort, resilience, and accountability. Granddaddy suggests that people often waste time blaming the world for their situations when the answer lies in taking control of their choices.

In essence, Chapter 16 serves as a motivational exploration of self-determination and the role of personal responsibility in achieving success. The “GOYA” principle becomes a rallying cry for individuals to overcome excuses, take charge of their actions, and pursue their goals with unwavering commitment.



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Reflection/Journaling: Reflect on instances in your life where you have faced challenges or setbacks. Have you ever found yourself making excuses or blaming external factors for the outcomes? Consider how taking responsibility for your choices and actions could have influenced the results. How does the fear of failure impact your willingness to take risks and persevere?


  1. Identify a specific area in your life where you tend to make excuses rather than taking responsibility. Set a goal to adopt the “GOYA” (Get Off Your Anatomy) principle in this aspect, committing to take proactive steps and acknowledge personal accountability.
  2. Reflect on your approach to challenges and the fear of failure. Set a goal to embrace failure as a natural part of the learning process and focus on the lessons gained from setbacks. Develop a mindset that values perseverance and determination over making excuses.
  3. Consider a long-term goal or aspiration you have been hesitant to pursue. Set a goal to overcome any excuses or fears holding you back and take concrete steps toward achieving that goal. Break down the goal into manageable tasks, applying the principles of self-motivation and determination.

Next Steps:

  1. Keep a journal to track instances where you successfully applied the “GOYA” principle in your life. Celebrate your achievements and recognize the positive impact of taking responsibility for your choices.
  2. Challenge yourself to take calculated risks in areas where the fear of failure has held you back. Reflect on the outcomes and use setbacks as opportunities for growth and improvement.
  3. Share your commitment to the “GOYA” principle with others in your circle, encouraging them to adopt a similar mindset. Create a supportive environment that values accountability and determination in the pursuit of success.

By setting intentional goals to overcome excuses, embrace challenges, and take responsibility for your choices, you can cultivate a mindset of self-motivation and determination. The “GOYA” principle becomes a powerful tool for achieving success and realizing your full potential.

Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, TV Host, and philanthropist.

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