The man who dipped a chunk of ice cream in chocolate and called it Eskimo Pie made a fortune for the five seconds of imagination it took to create the idea.

We are just beginning to understand the mysterious ways in which the mind works, but successful people have long known how to use the power of creative vision to their advantage. Many “new” ideas are really nothing more than a new combination of two well-known products or ideas. Nevertheless, great fortunes have been built upon such combinations when they are supported by a clever name and marketing campaign. There is a definite process that you can use to tap into your imagination. In his book A Technique for Producing Ideas, James Webb Young identified five steps: 1. Gather the appropriate information. 2. Work the information over in your mind. 3. Incubate the idea in your subconscious. 4. Recognize the “Eureka!” stage when the idea is born. 5. Shape and develop the idea for practical application. The technique works. Give it a try the next time you’re searching for a creative solution to an old problem.

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