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MrBeast, 2 Minute Habits, & Hope in Failure

By: Michael Blankenship |

“Both the brave man and the coward feel the same. The only difference between them is that the brave man faces his fear, does not run.”

– John Gwynne, Malice

Greetings from LA and Oahu!

This week we’re sharing a hack to habit-building called the 2-minute rule, displaying a 23-year-old YouTube sensation for his remarkable passion and philanthropy, and discussing why failure should be exciting rather than discouraging. 


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Stay Informed

The 2-Minute Rule

The mechanism behind building (or failing to build) good habits has been discussed online ad nauseum — with articles like 15 Key Tips to Develop Good Habits That Work and Building Good Habits: 10 Tips for Lasting Change.

Everyone wants good habits. 

But how do you build them

According to James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, the answer is to condense the habit you so desire to build into just a 2-minute routine.

Sounds crazy? 

In this clip, he explains, 

Take whatever habit you’re trying to build and scale it down to just the first two minutes… I had a reader who did something similar to this. He ended up losing over 100 pounds. And one of the ways that he did it was he went to the gym but he wasn’t allowed to stay for longer than five minutes. 

It sounds kind of crazy but for the first six weeks, he went, he showed up, and he did like half an exercise, and then he would leave and go home. 

To most people, they hear that they think it’s kind of ridiculous — you’re wasting your time, you’re not actually gonna get in shape from that. 

But the point is, he was mastering the art of showing up. 

And a habit has to be established before it can be improved. Until you become the type of person who shows up every day, there’s nothing to optimize.

Think about it like this. 

Before you can run a marathon, you have to train for a marathon. But before you can train for a marathon, you have to run every day (or most days). But before you can run every day, you have to get on your running shoes and walk out the door. 

That first measly step might seem silly and undeserving of our focus… but it’s the very thing that we all trip on when trying to build a new habit: showing up.

Stay Entertained


Jimmy Donaldson has an alter ego — or at least, a large enough following on YouTube (of 93 million subscribers) to justify giving himself a nickname: MrBeast

He’s one of the most successful YouTubers in the world. Some of his most popular videos include…

And no matter how sophisticated you fancy yourself to be, those videos are entertaining and difficult to stop watching. 

But don’t let his obnoxious thumbnails and exuberant personality deceive you — not only does this 23-year-old sensation reinvest all of the money he makes from YouTube ($5 million+ per year) back into his YouTube Channels, he also has started a foodbank that’s donated over 1.4 million pounds of food and fed over 100,000 people. 

MrBeast recently sat down and talked with Joe Rogan for two hours and thirty minutes. The podcast episode is a fascinating deep-dive into the brain of a young man who seems to have ceaseless energy, passion, and excitement for doing what he loves and helping people along the way. 

His passion is contagious. And the episode is well worth listening to. 

Stay Inspired

Hope in Failure

At one time, Sara Blakely bombed the LSAT and at another time, she was told she was too short to play Goofy at Disney. 

Now, she’s the founder of Spanx, a clothing brand for Women with a net worth upwards of $1.2 billion.

Blakely gives a lot of the credit of her success to the way her dad raised her — encouraging her to fail and celebrating effort over accomplishment. check out this clip. Or read the quotes below…

Growing up, my dad used to encourage my brother and me to fail. At the dinner table, he would actually ask us, “What did you fail at this week?” And if we didn’t have something to tell him, he would actually be disappointed. 

I can remember coming home from school and being like, “Dad, I tried out for this thing and I was horrible” and he’d be like “Way to go!” and high-five me. 

It was such a gift what he was doing — I didn’t realize it at the time but he was redefining failure for me. Failure became not about the outcome, but about not trying. 

Extra Stuff

Here is some other random stuff we found interesting this last week!

Books We’re Reading

Here’s what we’re currently reading!

This Week’s Photo

Mayela Lopez / Reuters

“Firefighters stand at the scene where a Boeing 757-200 cargo aircraft operated by DHL made an emergency landing before skidding off the runway and splitting, aviation authorities said, at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica, on April 7, 2022.” via The Atlantic

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

The more you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?

This Week’s Question

Answer this question — either privately or by replying to this email. If your answer inspires us, then we’ll ask for permission to include it in a future email!

Why should failure be exciting rather than discouraging?

This Week’s Challenge

The health benefits of walking every day are well-researched and undeniable. So if you don’t already, start going for a walk every day. Use the 2-minute rule section to build this new habit and just start with short walks. You can increase the duration of your walks down the road — your physical and mental health will thank you. 

Until next week, 

Mike & Alec

Riddle Answer: Footsteps.

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