Imagination is the way we convert a goal into reality.

(Part 6 of 10)

Napoleon Hill's best-selling business book of all time derived from the beliefs and actions of many of the richest and most successful people of the early 20th century offers eight steps to success:

1. Desire
2. Faith
3. Autosuggestion
4. Specialized knowledge
5. Imagination
6. Organized planning
7. Decision
8. Persistence

Step 5, Imagination, is in Hill's own words, the workshop of the mind.

Humans engage in two types of imagination, creative and synthetic. Synthetic imagination is the way we combine and recombine old ideas and plans into more ideas and plans. Nothing is newly created but adapted to a new use. This is the type used most often by the inventor.

Creative imagination, on the other hand, is the human mind's connection to Infinite Intelligence, Hill's term for God, the Universe, the Life Force, or Energy. It is the imagination through which we receive hunches and inspiration. It is even, Hill says, the way we receive "thought vibrations" and "influences" from the minds of other people.

When we stimulate the conscious mind through the emotion of a strong desire, creative imagination comes alive. In other words, when you want your new job or career strongly, your ability to create grows stronger, too. This is counter to what many of us do. We are more likely to tell ourselves, "Don't get your hopes up," or "Don't count on it too much."

Most of us also have people who love us saying the same thing. "I would hate to see you so disappointed, so you should moderate your expectations." "Don't get so enthusiastic. What if it doesn't work out?" By taking this advice to heart, whether it comes from ourselves or others, we are ensuring failure!

Instead, use your synthetic imagination to create plans to bring you to your career goal. Be sure to put your plans in writing to have a tangible form of your desire.

"Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes. Ideas are products of the imagination," Hill writes. Then, he tells a few stories to illustrate his point.

The Enchanted Kettle: In the late 19th century, an old country doctor sold a kettle and a secret formula to a young pharmacy clerk for $500. That old kettle has consumed much of the world's sugar, providing jobs to thousands of people. It has used millions of bottles and cans each year, providing jobs to those who make the containers. It also employs clerks, payroll specialists, advertising executives, artists, and photographers. It brought prosperity to a small Southern city. The idea now has spread to every civilized country of the world. The mysterious ingredient the drug clerk, Asa Candler, combined with the secret formula he bought to make Coca-Cola was imagination.

What I Would Do If I Had a Million Dollars: Educator and clergyman Frank W. Gunsaulus began his preaching career in the stockyards region of South Chicago. He saw defects in the education system and decided he would get the $1 million necessary to build a college unhampered by those faults, and he would get it within a week! He called the newspapers Saturday and announced the sermon he would preach the following morning was titled "What I Would Do If I Had a Million Dollars."

Even though he forgot the written version of his sermon in his office, he delivered it with such conviction that a man from the back of the congregation came forward and pledged the million dollars. The next day that man, Phillip D. Armour, presented the money to him, and Gunsaulus founded the Armour Institute of Technology.

The ideas present in these illustrations are also present in your dream for your career or your next position. Your idea of what you would like to do can be accomplished through the power of definite purpose, that is, knowing what you want, in combination with definite plans, fueled by imagination.

Next in Think and Grow Rich 7: Ready your job search action plan

Copyright © 2010, Jeri Hird Dutcher. All Rights Reserved.
Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Reprinted by permission of Jeri Hird Dutcher, nationally certified career coach and resume writer. For information about coaching and resume services, visit

Author's Bio: 

Jeri Hird Dutcher, Workwrite, inspires executives and professionals to envision, attract, and achieve their biggest dreams. She is certified as a Professional Career Coach, Resume Writer, and Employment Interview Professional. Jeri provides career / job search coaching and targeted resumes for clients in the United States and Canada. She welcomes inquiries at