Some people never get to that ephinay, they just continue in what they were doing. I can show you several examples on Youtube where a good design is sitting right there in front of the artist but they don't see it. They just continue to reenforce their original bad design as though that is the best this tree could be. I don't mean to suggest that I am the great Karnack of bonsai, and what I think makes a difference but it is an educated opinion from one who understands they don't know everything and is willing to change and continue to grow.I think a large part of the 'wanting to set a design' originates from the appeal of mugo's. They give little to fantasize about because they almost always have a certain look that could fit to a general style direction.
Every mugo I have, 'spoke to me' after buying them; they had a certain attribute that made my unexperienced ass lean immediately in one direction. And then we just tend to go with that safe option because it doesn't ask a lot of mental power. And it allows us to stay within our safe gut feeling.
The more we invest in a bad decision, the harder it gets to admit it and move away from that decision. (This is so common in humans that scientist call it choice-supportive bias)
After a while, we find out that the design wasn't that ideal for the long term, then we call you for help and apologize for not listening to your advice in the first place. I'm guilty as charged on at least 1 of my 6 mugos.