Jeremy Silman in How to Reassess your Chess emphasizes listing the imbalances that exist in a chess position and exploiting said imbalances in your favor. Silman and Kotov speak of a fantasy position which is an arrangement of the pieces and pawns that you feel would lead to a win.
Kotov’s magnum opus, Think Like a Grandmaster, provides a lucid exposition regarding fantasy positions and trees of analysis. Kotov actually recommends analyzing each branch of the tree ONLY ONCE! Apparently, the idea is to increase the breadth of your analysis at the expense of any errors you might make in your calculations. Brilliant for Kotov to have recognized this!
In the following rapid game which arose from a Benko Gambit Accepted and played at ICC, White acquiesced to a draw due to time constraints. However the position turns out to be a win for the first player if one circumspectly lists the imbalances that favor him. Black has weak d6 and f6 pawns in view of the fact that a White Knight at e4 along with a Bishop on c3 or g3 double attack these pawns.
Mind you, a fantasy position may not be tactically achievable. In the below chess position, White has to work out whether a persistently checking Rook will throw a monkey wrench in the plans.