2 Eggs w/Siracha + Toast
Every morning I start the burner beneath the cast iron pan on medium low. I drink a glass of water then crack the eggs into melted butter and wait. If I feel like spicing things up I'll get some hot water going for a pour over coffee. A minute before the eggs are ready to be flipped (I like mine over-easy), I drop a piece of bread in the toaster. While the toast is finishing I grab the siracha and drip it on the eggs. Toast pops up, I butter it, and we're off to the races. By now it's about as predictable and comfortable as Mass to a 60 year old Catholic. I first started the ritual after reading a surprising interview with Ira Glass, one of my favorite storytellers. Instead of giving an inspirational speech about chasing dreams, he talked about breakfast, lunch, and what he wore (pretty much the same thing most days). He had long ago realized that your brain is a muscle. When you use it to make a decision (like what you are going to have for breakfast), you are using that muscle. And you can only do so much lifting in a day. But the brain can also do an enormous amount of familiar things efficiently and automatically. Most of us for example don't have to think all that hard to put our shirt on or tie our shoes. So if you turn something into a habit or ritual it reduces the load on your brain, whose energy can be used to make more important creative decisions. So now Ira, who daily does an immense amount of creative work, eats the same breakfast and lunch every single day.
I can attest to the power of a small change made into habit. Getting out of bed in the morning is difficult for me. I have chronic neck problems which means I often wake with a headache. On top of that I'm fairly ambitious in my business and creative efforts. So any given day I might have several guitar lessons to give, a spate of catering request emails to respond to, as well as my own piano and guitar practice and songwriting. And since I'm a zoomed out thinker, I tend to wake up thinking that all those things must be finished in the next hour. Once I'm out of bed and put pen to paper to plan my day I'm typically fine. But until then it can be a coin toss as to whether or not I'll snooze a few times in avoidance of reality. So I often just avoided eating breakfast altogether because I didn't want to think about what I would have to prepare or if we'd have enough of this or that. And the mornings I didn't muster the courage to make breakfast, I'd suffer for it by mid morning.
But now, I can get up and let my body go through the motions while I mentally try to prepare for the day. It seems like a small thing, but the way I begin affects every moment after. Plus, I can now make a pretty darn good cast iron fried egg.
So I'll stick with my 2 eggs w/siracha + toast.