The first thing to understand about thinking is that "you" don't do the thinking. Thoughts spring up from the subconscious on their own, and you just observe them then accept or reject them. We're talking about those endless, seemingly uncontrollable, random thoughts that flit across the screen of your awareness every day. These are noisy thoughts like static electricity that we practice meditation to control and quiet. These thoughts are generally unproductive and non-creative because there's no purpose or meaning behind them. They're just a part of the landscape of a currently idle rather than a seeking or creative mind.
As soon as you add purpose to the equation the creative process can begin. Purpose means you want to answer a question or solve a problem. You take the question from your conscious mind and turn it over to the subconscious mind to provide that answer.
Here's where faith comes in. You have to have faith that the answer is already within you -- within your subconscious mind. And you will have that faith because it's based on the fact that you could not have possibly come up with the question if you didn't already have the answer within you. It takes the one to create the other. That's how the mind works.
So, convinced you have the answer somewhere within you, you just patiently observe or listen to what now issues from the subconscious. You still have to be selective and discriminating, but at least now you know what you're looking for. Now you have a plan, a method. What you'll now get will not be all useless thought but some intelligent, intuitive thought. Intuition doesn't come in words; it comes in a silent knowing. You now know the answer. Then you can turn it back over to your conscious mind to put into words.
While you'll definitely get the answer you're seeking, it's not definite how long it'll take. Could be hours, days or weeks, depending on how apropos the question to your problem, and whether you formulated the question correctly, etc. This is where detached patience and perseverance come in.
Let's say, for example, you want to write a detective novel. All you have so far is the price -- $25 in hardcover. It's a start, and you can almost see your name in lights on the marquee when they turn it into a movie. Many questions will now arise. What's the title? What's the plot line? Who are the major and minor characters? Who's the perp and why did he or she do such a dastardly deed? What's the theme of the story? The period and setting? The conclusion?
The answers to all these questions are in your subconscious mind at the very moment you pose the questions. Thus no stress and strain should ever be involved in the creative process. Stress indicates you've forgotten or have lost faith that all the answers are within you right now.
As many questions will arise during the planning of the novel (or business, etc.), many more will arise during the actual writing of it. Let's say you, the author, are totally stuck and blocked as to what the detective hero should, would or could do next. You form each "problem" into separate questions and turn them over to your subconscious.
The intuitive solution that soon springs up may go something like this: You let the detective feel exactly as you, the author, are feeling. Let the detective feel depressed and confused as to how to proceed - just as you are. Let the detective fear being out of leads and clues - just like you are. Let the detective start doubting himself and thinking about seeking some solace at the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels -- just as you the author were thinking. Continue in this vein to the compelling final resolution of the story - a resolution that's just as much a surprise to you as to the reader!
Had the author tried to think out this project "on his own," it's unlikely he would have come up with such a brilliant approach to it or "created" it with such ease and originality. The novel virtually wrote itself. It's amazing.