1. Think Holistically.
When your nose is too close to the grindstone, the world around you can get blurry. Pan out. Get a wide-angle view. Consider the interconnectedness of things. Every action has an immediate effect…but it can also affect things down the road, long after you've forgotten it.
2. Remember Your Goal.
Start from the end. Determine what you are trying to accomplish and work backwards from there. Every choice we make, every idea we have, must be relevant and focused on our end goal. "Art for art's sake" or "cool for cool's sake" will never move the dial.
3. Be Empathic.
If you want to move an audience, start with understanding who they are and what’s important to them. That means more than just looking at behavioral data. It means actually talking to people, asking meaningful questions, and seeing and hearing how they react.
4. Respect Your Passion.
Our instinct is to separate and compartmentalize the various aspects of our lives. These two especially: Work and Play. But, like most aspects of our existence, they should bleed into one another. So if it moves you outside of the office, bring it inside. Let your passions fuel you.
5. Disavow "Boring."
If you find a task to be boring, it's because you're allowing it to be. The mind is a vast resource of wonder and creativity. If an idea seems boring, you're not trying hard enough. Figure out how to make it special and exciting, even if you have to dig deep to get there.
6. Embrace "I Don't Know."
Admitting that you don't know something is the first step toward learning something new. No one knows everything, and life is a never-ending process of learning and growing. So when the time comes, just say it: "I don’t know." And then: "But I'll find out."
7. Never Be Satisfied.
Really, don't. Because dissatisfaction drives excellence. So if your latest campaign yielded a 900% ROI and you got showered with awards, and, still, you're feeling a bit tortured that you didn't tweak that little thing over there — good, you're on the right track.