Decision Making: The Internal Conflict

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Did You Imagine Yourself Reading this Post? Was the Decision Making All Yours?

Nick Kolenda, has written a new book around decision-making. Given Nick’s background in the psychology of marketing, the book is rather aptly called Imagine Reading this Book. In it, Nick explores the key principles that determine all the decisions we make and the internal conflict. Moreover, Nick explores how this process can be influenced.

The Mental Picture

Nick describes the mental picture as:

Any decision, big or small, can be traced to a mental picture. Before you make a decision, you imagine the outcome so that you can judge its desirability.

Consequently, when you contemplated reading this blog post, you will have imagined clicking on it and the page containing these words opening in front of you.  Following Nick’s theory, you are reading this because it formed a strong, or ‘vivid’ mental picture compelling action. Thus, with this approach, we can influence decision making by amplifying the vividness of these mental pictures.

So How Does This Help Me at Work?

If you are trying to sell a product, using words like ‘open this email’ or ‘call us now’ are more likely to get a response from a buyer as their brain will start the decision thought process because they can envisage opening the email or making the call.

A crossroad sign of different ways, 'this way', 'that way' and 'the other way' for decision making Internal Conflict
Imagining the outcome of actions will make you more likely to do them


I find that I use my outlook calendar for everything. I personally use different colours for different areas. Green for Meetings, blue for training and so on. As well as time management this helps with the decision process of, is this mandatory or can I leave it until later? You can also use images in your calendar to help your brain differentiate between what tasks are important and what are urgent. See our 7 hurdles of Time Management for more information.

Where Can I Get More Information?

Imagine Reading this Book. has hundreds of other tricks. You’ll discover why mental pictures are incredibly powerful. Most of the applications involve business and motivation.

Book cover of 'Imagine Reading this book' by Nick Kolenda
Explore a fascinating quirk of the human mind

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