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What you eat for breakfast may be making you less creative.

BreakfastEating the same breakfast everyday is one of the most important things I’ve done for my career.  It makes you more creative, more resilient, more successful and it’ll even help you lose weight.  You should seriously consider it.

This is not a metaphor.

The more choices you make during the day, the more you get overwhelmed and the less able you are to make choices later on in the day.

 Going to a diner for breakfast that has one of those epic 20 page, laminated novels of a menu may be one of the worst ways to start your day.  You know the kind I’m talking about.  They often come in a 3 ring binder and feel the need to include items such as meatloaf as a breakfast option.

Whether or not to try meatloaf for breakfast is not a choice you need to be making in life.  But we do this all the time.  Most people start their day with a choice about what to cook, or where to eat.  They weigh the pro’s and con’s of the delicious vs. the healthy choice.  Should they really get cheddar inside that Omelette or just cottage cheese on the side?  Coffee or tea this morning, ma’am?  2% milk, or do you deserve half and half?  Side of toast or salad?  Dressing?  Butter or jam?

That’s a lot of choices to make before 9am on something that will do absolutely nothing for your career and very little for your happiness in life.

Considering more options can make you less happy with outcomes and less likely to consider more options in the next decision you make.  This is a problem for you, because considering more options is an integral part of the creative process.  Thinking abundantly about the options available to you at any given time is one of the most important mindsets to adopt.

It’s not just important for business.  It’s a core life skill.  The ability to see myriad options when you come up against an intransigent person or a difficult problem is one of the things the highest performers do best.

Usually, we encounter these situations after we’ve wasted brainpower on the great “meatloaf vs. pancake” debate.  Eating the same thing for breakfast saves this limited energy and makes you more able to flex your creative muscle and handle complex problems (and people), during your day.

On top of this, studies have shown that athletes who consume the same foods over and over again have the lowest body fat percentages in their sports.  I don’t know exactly why this is, but a lot of smart people have figured it out.

If you’re a foodie and still reading this, you’re probably horrified right now.  That’s cool.  I can’t tell you whether or not diversity at the breakfast table is worth more than making better decisions in life.  All I can say is that you’re subject to the same biological constraints as everyone else.  The more options you consider at any point in the day, the less likely you will be able to do it in the next decision to make.  It’s up to you where you want those mental resources to go.

About the author: Hi I’m Dan Green, blogger, entrepreneur, documentary film producer and negotiation specialist. I’ve helped executives negotiate deals worth up to 400 million USD. But before you read on…

2 comments… add one

  • James

    Interesting information. I have been eating the same items for breakfast for as long as I can remeber, but it was not because of the above information more out of a convienience factor. Sometimes it all works out. J

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