Tim David is a professional speaker and bestselling author. He is an entertaining speaker who helps people use the advanced communication skills of a magician and mentalist, primarily good old-fashioned human connection, to become more influential.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

My family was all Type-A engineering and accounting types but I was introverted and creative. I didn’t talk until I was four, but I observed. I took everything in. Then I dropped out of college to become a magician. My skill of observing people helped me on stage and in the business of show business. I grew up in New England, so I was raised anti-social, but I still consider my ability to understand others to be my greatest strength.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

The full value of being young.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

“Success takes time.” “You’ve got to pay your dues.” “All you have to do is outlast the other guy.” Terrible, terrible advice. Nothing about success involves sitting and waiting or comparing yourself to anyone else.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

Ha! As though talking about my childhood wasn’t enough of a therapy session. Still in a dark period now. But I suppose it’s teaching me that I don’t need to “come out of it” in order to be happy. There is joy in every moment. Stop waiting for some future event, accomplishment, or acquisition.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Already described it. Observing others with a sincere desire to understand. I’m compulsively curious. Incidentally, it’s also why I’m a voracious reader.

What is your morning routine?

I have three kids so I haven’t been woken up by my alarm in 14 years. My work routine is simple. I grab a coffee, decide on the most important thing I need to do that day and then I get started. If I need some self-care to get motivated, then I’ll work out, meditate, write stuff down to get it out of my head, go outside, cook, clean, or just relax with a book. Part of my pursuit to understand others has resulted in a better understanding of myself. I’m definitely not a to-do list guy or a strict routine guy. I’m a “one-thing” guy. I value flexibility and I forgive myself if I miss the mark on something that day.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Reading, without a doubt.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

Having one major goal per day. And being flexible.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Impossible to pick one. I’m a voracious reader of non-fiction, but I use books like tools. When the job is done, the book goes back to the shelf. If I HAD to pick, I’d pick one that I’m re-reading now…The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle because the present moment is all we have.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

Once again, impossible to choose. If you write enough wisdom onto your heart, then hopefully it will show up when you need it – either for yourself or for someone else. Here’s one we all need to hear, “You are enough – right now.”