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[VIDEO+ACTIVITY] Duncan Nugget® #330: Blame Is Lame


Here’s a cool little story about blame. Maybe you’ve heard it before.

“This is the story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody knew that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

Consequently, it wound up that Nobody told Anybody, so Everybody blamed Somebody. And nothing got done.”

Unfortunately, there was a time in my life when I blamed anything and anyone else, except for myself, for my lack of success. Not cool.

You cannot blame your way to success.

Personal responsibility is required. Blame is the arch enemy of personal responsibility. Therefore, blame is lame.

Million-Dollar Question:
Do you choose blame or personal responsibility?


It can be extremely challenging to get people to take responsibility for their success. The following activity and discussion questions are great for helping to reinforce the principles of personal responsibility.

NOTE: If you do not have time to do this activity then you can still have a group discussion or individual assignment based on the questions at the end. 

Whiners and Designers


Teams/Pairs will have 15 minutes to translate 10 phrases from Whiner language into Designer language.


1. Write down the following phrases (or create your own) on a flip chart, white/chalk board, powerpoint, or you can use handouts.

I couldn’t get to work on time because I woke up late and my mom wouldn’t drive me.

My [boss/teacher/mom/dad] makes me so angry.

I wouldn’t have gotten in trouble for talking in class if my friend would’ve left me alone.

I couldn’t get the assignment because I was absent.

I’m not talking to you because you got me in trouble.

I lost the scholarship because my dad did not turn in the paper on time.

I didn’t even want to drink it, but everybody was making fun of me.

The only reason I didn’t apply for the job is because I knew they wouldn’t hire someone like me.

I  was only smoking because they completely stressed me out.

3. You need something to keep track of the time limit.

4. WARNING: Do not use this activity as a platform to give participants a long, boring speech about being responsible. That will completely kill all the fun. The video, activity, and discussion questions will drive the point home and give everyone, including you, a chance to share their opinions.

Game Time:

1. Break your group into teams. If it’s a small group break them into pairs.

2. Tell them what this game is about. (Show them Duncan Nugget® #330: Blame Is Lame and read the summary of this activity to the group.)

Explain the game and the rules

1. Say the following:

Whiners and Designers have different perspectives on life and they use completely different language when talking about situations. As you can probably guess, Whiners spend most of their time complaining and blaming. Designers take ownership, accept personal responsibility, focus on things they can control, and work diligently to improve a situation. Designers don’t whine about it, they do something about it. They focus on designing a great life.

2. Teams will have 15 minutes to translate 10 phrases from Whiner language into Designer language. Your translations must be written on a piece of paper (or flip chart.) [NOTE: At this point, it’s a great idea to give an example or two of a good translation.]

3. First team to finish gets 2 points extra points.

4. Each team will exchange translations with a different team for judging and scoring. (ex. Teams 1 and 3 exchange and then judge and score each other’s translations.)

5. The team that is judging will discuss each translation and award 1 point if the translation is satisfactory.

6. Team with the most points wins. [NOTE: You can give out prizes at your discretion.]

7. Afterwards, we will have a discussion about personal responsibility. [NOTE: You should translate any phrases that were not translated by teams during the game. You can have a discussion about the statements or use the following discussion questions.]

Discussion Questions

1. “If it is to be, it’s up to me.” Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?

2. “It’s not what happens to you in life, it’s what you do about it.” Is that the language of a Whiner or Designer? Do you live your life according to that principle? Why or why not?

3. What is the relationship between personal responsibility and the quality of your character?

4. Is it ever okay to blame someone else for what happened? Why or why not?

5. At times it is very hard to accept personal responsibility. Why? How can failing to accept personal responsibility result in negative consequences?


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