“If it has to happen, it has to happen first.” That’s the advice of Lauren Vanderkam, an American journalist who’s written an e-book about what the world’s most successful people do before breakfast.

Breakfast of champions. Now with extra pedometer

Her point is clear, do the most important thing in your life within an hour of waking up and you’ll be happier and more successful.

Vanderberg is a terrific counterpoint to yesterday’s great piece by my News Ltd colleague, Sarah Michael who revealed what successful people do in their first hour of the working day.

Michael’s piece is choc-full of practical advice, like using your first hour at work to get the really hard or tricky stuff done and making use of your commute time.

But what I really want to know is what those aforesaid wildly successful people do before they get to work. Stuff like what they eat for breakfast and whether they run for an hour before 6am. Or do they play with their children, or completely abandon all sense of routine whatsoever and watch cartoons.

The “what do successful people eat for breakfast” element is partly answered by American Bon Appétit magazine, who’ve compiled a terrific list on famous people’s first meal of the day.

Some great examples: rapper Ice Cube, who eats leftovers for breakfast. Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson, who drinks Earl Grey. And actress Maggie Gyllenhaal who eats either yogurt or hamburgers.

Most also include a little wrap of the kinds of activities they squeeze in before clocking in at work. A personal favourite has to be this from actress, Aubrey Plaza:

“Also in the mornings, I stare at myself in the mirror for a while and say, just to myself, “don’t f**k this up.”

Until recently I thought this obsession with other people’s lives was potentially quite embarrassing; less about being curious and more sign of weakness.

Then I read this piece by Guardian journalist Oliver Burkeman and discovered that not only was I not alone, this obsession could be explained in an eloquent way.

Here’s how he put it: “The best defence I can offer is that poring over others’ schedules makes me, in a fruitful way, more conscious of my own; experimenting with the tricks I learn is fun, and making daily tasks a little more entertaining surely isn’t a crime.”

The only thing Burkeman doesn’t admit to is the pretty significant degree of nosiness amid all this fascination with the daily minutiae of other people’s lives.

Much like peeking through the cupboards at a house inspection or reading a colleague’s email over their shoulder, being intrigued by the daily habits of strangers is just mindless brain fodder that tickles your curious side.

That said we probably shouldn’t be too proud to take one or two of their tips on board.

But seriously, what do you eat for breakfast? Tell me on Twitter: @lucyjk

Comments close on this post at 8pm AEST

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32 comments

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    • cheap white trash says:

      05:58am | 06/09/12

      Her point is clear, do the most important thing in your life within an hour of waking up and you’ll be happier and more successful.

      Yep she sure will be,more Fruit Loops who buy her book,the more success she has.

    • M says:

      06:06am | 06/09/12

      Coffee and some form of cereal. I’m trying to be healthy these days by going with weetbix or oats.

      I really miss my morning cigarette with coffee :(

    • colin says:

      09:07am | 06/09/12

      @M 06:06am | 06/09/12

      What, no Bundy Rum..?

    • patsy says:

      10:47am | 06/09/12

      If you’re to do an “important thing” within an hour of waking up, does morning glory count?

    • colin says:

      11:15am | 06/09/12

      @ patsy 10:47am | 06/09/12

      “If you’re to do an “important thing” within an hour of waking up, does morning glory count?”

      M doesn’t need that justification; by the state of his posts I’d say that he’s at it all of the time… wink

    • Mouse says:

      04:47pm | 06/09/12

      M, I was going to say “Keep it up!” , but then I read patsy’s and colin’s posts and thought I’d better not!  lol :o/

      pasty, only if you eat it!  lol :o)

      colin…......are you jealous of M??  ;o)

    • Tubesteak says:

      07:52am | 06/09/12

      I go for a run. Then have a shower. Then I have Weet-Bix for breakfast while reading The Punch.

    • Shelly says:

      08:00am | 06/09/12

      I’d like to be be able to eat Sugar Frosties occasionally for breakfast but I can’t. What happened to the Sugar Frosties? Where have they gone? I miss them.

    • PW says:

      11:39am | 06/09/12

      The word “Sugar” was dropped from the product name quite some years back, not sure whether they are still available though.

    • Al says:

      08:11am | 06/09/12

      “Her point is clear, do the most important thing in your life within an hour of waking up and you’ll be happier and more successful. “
      Only 1 problem with this suggestion:
      ALL of the most important things in my life take over 1 hour, so it is impossible for me to do them ‘within an hour of waking up’.

    • stephen says:

      08:15am | 06/09/12

      I’m glad I’m not Karl Stefonovic, and after I wake up, I have to thank someone for it.
      And where does Richard Wilkins get his suits from ... the tip ?

    • Kerryn says:

      08:28am | 06/09/12

      I love a banana and coco pops. 

      I really need to get motivated to ride the bike to work again, at least I’m still walking at lunch, but the extra exercise is good.

    • iansand says:

      08:49am | 06/09/12

      Get up.  Go for a walk.  Eat a bowl of muesli.  That pretty much does it for the first hour.  Although in a couple of weeks (sorting out storage) I am buying a kayak.  I’m looking forward to the occasional dawn paddle.  Or tread.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      05:25pm | 06/09/12

      Dawn Treader?
      Scariest scene: where they visit the island where dreams come true, regardless of good or bad. Still sends chills down my spine…

    • jimbo says:

      09:01am | 06/09/12

      Why not try a Stockmans breakfast.  A pee, a smoke and a good look around.

    • Stavros says:

      11:29am | 06/09/12

      This is also known as the Labor Party breakfast

    • jess says:

      09:04am | 06/09/12

      I’m looking forward to my fruit loops this morning cos it’s not a work day. Fruit loops are tasty. My usual breakfast is up and go and a banana. Pancakes on Sunday’s though. Fruit loops or cereal is for Saturday’s

    • jess says:

      09:04am | 06/09/12

      I’m looking forward to my fruit loops this morning cos it’s not a work day. Fruit loops are tasty. My usual breakfast is up and go and a banana. Pancakes on Sunday’s though. Fruit loops or cereal is for Saturday’s

    • Levi of Bris says:

      09:16am | 06/09/12

      If everybody just had some pushups for breakfast this so called obesity epidemic would be a thing of the past.

    • EW says:

      09:23am | 06/09/12

      Veggiemite on toast, cup of OJ, fish oil caps and a centrum.

    • Jeremy says:

      09:41am | 06/09/12

      Bacon and eggs since I gave up the fags. Unfortunately I’m sick and I’ve hardly eaten in about 4 days. I want someone to bring me soup without me asking but I’m mean to all my friends : (
      I do like the “Don’t f- this up’, it’s about the best you can do sometimes. It’s like my pool table tactics - I know I won’t win, so instead of trying to sink balls I try and snooker the other guy: I last longer that way.
      Anyway - good morning, breakfast is good.

    • colin says:

      12:34pm | 06/09/12

      @Jeremy 09:41am | 06/09/12

      “Bacon and eggs since I gave up the fags…”

      That’s not very PC of you, Jeremy. Though I hardly think that food is a sufficient substitute for a bit of rough…

    • SydneyGirl says:

      09:50am | 06/09/12

      I only do the most important things of my life after midnight. Without losing slipper or prince.

      Go Owls!

    • Sam says:

      10:28am | 06/09/12

      Leftover cassarole on toast is an awesome brekkie, my standing order for birthday breakfast is curried snags on toast with good OJ and coffee. Most of the time though it is a toasted tomato & cheese sanga with coffee.

      Sundays, when we have more time, are either waffles, pancakes, omlette or egg & bacon on toast

    • colin says:

      11:31am | 06/09/12

      Exercise for an hour on first rising, followed by a nice breakfast consisting perhaps some roast Beef, a slice of a well-browned bread, a goodly chunk of cheese, a nice piece of smoked salmon, some anchovies in capers, and a big bowl of mixed fruit,all washed down with good strong cups of tea (brewed in a teapot, never from a “tea-bag”)

      A very light lunch, a small dinner with no carbohydrates. Repeat - with variations - every day. Fit and healthy as an ox, I am grin

    • Scotchfinger says:

      04:14pm | 06/09/12

      Anchovies in capers? High in sodium! Try some ‘mineral water’ from France to ensure healthy filtration in the kidneys

    • PW says:

      11:45am | 06/09/12

      Since this site seems to be big on correct spelling I feel I must correct the misspelling by the author and several others of Froot Loops (you can see it on the pedometer) .

      Maybe if they used the word “fruit” the product would be expected to contain fruit.

    • Al says:

      01:20pm | 06/09/12

      PW - you are correct. If they actualy called it ‘Fruit Loops’ it could be considered false or misleading advertising.
      They could get around it by calling it ‘Fruit Flavored Loops’ but probably not as saleable.
      Its like the difference between Orange Juice and Orange Drink.

    • PW says:

      11:45am | 06/09/12

      Since this site seems to be big on correct spelling I feel I must correct the misspelling by the author and several others of Froot Loops (you can see it on the pedometer) .

      Maybe if they used the word “fruit” the product would be expected to contain fruit.

    • sami says:

      02:04pm | 06/09/12

      Vegemite toast for brekkie daily. STRAYA!!

    • colin says:

      03:21pm | 06/09/12

      @ sami 02:04pm | 06/09/12

      “Vegemite toast for brekkie daily…”

      And like most Strayans, you will be overdosing on salt, butter, and pernicious carbohydrates derived from white flour, with the result that you will all die fat and young from the complications associated with obesity and poor diet. grin

 

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