In his lecture, Balog stressed the importance of "telling a story" in every photograph he takes. I think this is also relevant to design because a successful piece is based around a message or a "story." If it is not based on any sort of message the object is just there as clutter and has no importance or impact.
Balog also talke about how big a factor passion was in creating art. If people are able to look inside themselves and figure out what makes them tick, they will be able to succeed at what they want most. If they never take the time to figure this out, then they are just wasting their time and will never be satisfied or reach their potential.