Eight virtues common to creative people – Eternal Pursuit of Unhappiness.

Eternal Pursuit of Unhappiness by Ogilvy and Mathers.

Goodreads Eternal Pursuit of Unhappiness.- Ogilvy and Mathers

PS… Don’t let the title throw you off.

A marketing and advertising organization whose road map is focused heavily on creativity.

⏱️3.40 min Short video Intro.

Below are some quotes by Ogilvy and Mathers. I have added my own notations to their quoted text, in the grey boxes.

Ogilvy and Mathers have 8 principles.

1. Courage

“If fear is our principal adversary, then, courage is our chief ally. It is the first of the eight creative habits for good reason: it is the habit that guarantees all the others.

In the absence of courage, nothing worthwhile can be accomplished.” – Ogilvy and Mathers

“If you allow fear to control you, you will live a life of BOREDOM. Fear and boredom are known methods of torture and enable the control others.

If you can control your own fear, you can use it as a motivation tool, otherwise it can be a debilitating shackle that can negatively affect your personal life and subsequently your work or business.

Fear is a normal human trait, the key point, is how you manage your own personal fear.”– Heidi M

2. Idealism

“Helen Keller, the deaf and blind activist, was asked by a journalist what she thought would be worse than being born blind. She replied without missing a beat, ‘to have sight and no vision.’” – Ogilvy and Mathers

“To have sight is just like being a camera lense, to have vision is what makes us human.”– Heidi M

3. Curiosity

” ‘He who no longer pauses to wonder and stand rapt in awe,’ Einstein pronounced, ‘is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.’

It is only in the open state of curiosity that we can explore, dream and make babies in our heads.

For a start, we have to ask stupid questions like a pesky 6-year-old.

Once again, Einstein has something to say on the matter (as well as proving that he would have made a very short-lived cat): ‘I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted,’ the physicist said. ‘I am only very, very curious.’ ” – Ogilvy and Mathers

“Curiosity may have killed the cat, but they have nine lives, and prefer to live their lives rather than just having a life of existence. Without curiosity the mind won’t grow.”– Heidi M


4. Playfulness

“David (Ogilvy) never entirely grew up.

He would heckle in meetings, throw chocolate cakes at dinner parties and roll down grassy slopes in Brooks Brothers suits.

He told us to develop our eccentricities while we’re young so people would not think we’re going gaga as we got older.

Like all creative people, David knew that necessity may be the mother of invention, but it is horseplay that’s most certainly the father.” – Ogilvy and Mathers

“To play in childhood and adulthood, allows the mind to dream outside the box, to go beyond current knowledge or acceptance of things, it is the passageway to create beyond the present day normalities.” – Heidi M


5. Candour

“We are a company of problem solvers.

Our job requires us to be brutally honest and totally dedicated to the truth.

For unless we know the truth, in all its unlovely details, how are we going to go about the business of problem solving.

The tendency to be nice and avoid telling the truth is so omnipresent in human beings that it can properly be considered a characteristic of human nature.” – Ogilvy and Mathers

“To solve real problems you need to decipher the real truth (not necessarily the status quo) to give real solutions, that are actionable and can be coordinated into a genuine plan of action.

Without the truth you will never find the answer, you will only create another false assumption.”
– Heidi M


6. Intuition

“We waste our beautiful mind by leaning lopsidedly on logic.

We are in the business of creativity and discovery. What clients value most about us is our ability to find one-of-a-kind solutions for their business problems through intuitive leaps.” – Ogilvy and Mathers

I have watched a few talks and interviews by the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy and Mathers , Rory Sutherland. Check him out in YouTube video at the end of this article, he is very interesting and funny! 

He follows this topic up by saying that most companies have a chain of decision processes, whereby, the creative departments or people get the approval by the logic departments, BUT, not the other way around. It should also be reversed, where the logic gets approved by the creative departments. Otherwise known as mutual approval, different perspectives are always a bonus.

I agree that logic/economical paths are not always the best path, as with certain industries, eg. the military does not always take the economical path as it is the predicted path, which their enemy would anticipate.

“Often the best path of action is the most illogical, if it means not being predictable.”Heidi M


7. Free-Spiritedness

“Ironically, most agencies fail to grasp the fragility of the idea-generation process.

The notion that bureaucratic sausage factories pumping out fodder for meetings will solve the problem is ludicrous, as are the box-ticking, paint-by-numbers follow-up sessions.

The work is, not infrequently, as dull as the meetings that precede it.

Bureaucracy has no place in an ideas company.” – Ogilvy and Mathers

“Ideas can’t be put in a box. Box ticking is an automated process performed by an assembly line of robots, human and machine alike.

The idea process is a free flowing entity that takes on its own life within your mind. To confine it to a box, would stunt its growth or kill it.

It flows with twists and turns. It questions itself as well as the accepted norms, the idea process is like fireworks going off in the brain, sparking and igniting synapses. – electricity”– Heidi M


8. Persistence

“If the client kills your day, do him a better one.

If he kills the better one, do him an even better one.

If he kills that even better one, do him your damn best one.

Dogged determination is often the only trait that separates a moderately creative person from a highly creative one.” – Ogilvy and Mathers

“Evolution is the ultimate example of the mind and body’s persistent need to improve our lives and surroundings.”– Heidi M


“Never settle for yesterday, strive for tomorrow.” – by Heidi M



Rory Sutherland – Counterintuitive Thinking

Behavioural Economics, Humans, and Advertising

⏱️45 min

View more talks by Rory Sutherland on – Link YouTube


4 thoughts on “Eight virtues common to creative people – Eternal Pursuit of Unhappiness.

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