User Experience Design or UXD is widely misunderstood among beginners as a mere set of process that are followed before designing User Interface or any tangible artifacts.
In fact UX Design is a way of thinking, viewing in the user perspective. It is a culture of keeping users at the center of any design decisions. Always keep in mind that a UI or a design is a solution for a certain defined user problem.
Lets me disclose some good practices that helped me in my UX career.
Choose UX as a passion and not as just a job
UX is about making world a better place for people (users). Solving real life issues are not just a job. It is a service to the world we live in. This needs passion and compassion for fellow beings.
Form a habit of organizing your environment
UX deals with huge set of data that are derived from various research activities. Being an organized person will help you manage the data in a natural way.
Have an eye to criticize
A UXer is pledged to solve user problems or to make life of the user simpler. This demands an ability to spot errors and flaws. Never miss to appreciate a good experience that makes you happy.
Keep a learner mindset
When you start learning and understanding the UXD, never be in an impression that the knowledge you gained is sufficient for the rest of your career. The learning never ends here in UX. Understanding people and their behavior is not yet defined completely since decades of research and psychology. Understand that you are always are beginner here.
Share your knowledge to learn more perspective
Sharing knowledge helps you learn more from your community. You will be excited to know how different people interpret things differently from you in the real world. This helps to build a personality to empathize people and an ability to perceive things in different angles and contexts.
UX is not just common sense
Many people argues that UX is mere common sense approach. And there is nothing much to do with it. If you have common sense you can build a better design and product.
I agree that UX is common sense. But cannot agree that common sense is that common. This sense is developed over years of practice both sub-consciously and consciously. It is not common to all people. UXers do use different research methodologies to understand the user common sense and their beliefs. This process is called User Research.