Top-of-mind is a term referring to something that occupies a privileged position in memory. It’s the first thing recalled. In marketing, it’s what brands attempt to achieve in consumer minds.

Top-of-heart is a term referring to a bond of loyalty based on emotional factors in preference to rational or intellectual factors. I have this type of bond with brands such as Amazon, Apple, BMW, and First National Bank.

Which concept do you think is more meaningful? Can something be top-of-mind without being top-of-heart? Can something be top-of-heart without first becoming top-of-mind?

When I hear the word “soda”, I think of Coke.  However, I don’t drink Coke. When I hear the term “car insurance”, I think Geico, but I don’t insure my cars with Geico. Top-of-mind is important, but it does not always result in action.

When I need to buy something, Amazon is the first place I go. I can not imagine using anything other than an iPhone and driving anything other than a BMW. I love seeing First National Bank‘s logo, feel very patriotic as one of their customers and am so proud to be an employee. Without hesitation, I spread my love for these brands. Top-of-heart is a stronger, more sentimental appeal.

I would submit a combination of the two is particularly transformative when applied to who we are as human beings. Let’s call the concept top-of-mind-heart.

Top-of-mind-heart contends we become what we believe, and we can alter what we believe by creating habits around what we feed our mind. And it works both ways. If we feed our minds junk food, we will become unhealthy and unattractive and won’t like ourselves. If we feed our minds healthy, nutritious food, we will become more likable, attractive, happy and successful.

So it all starts with what we feed our mind. Make a conscious daily effort to trim out the stuff that has “empty calories”, and “eat” better. Let’s call this our daily mindwork. Do mindwork, day in, day out, and it will eventually become a good habit that will spawn more good habits. You’ll slowly notice the loss of appetite for the mental junk food. You won’t crave it anymore. You’ll only have an appetite for nutritious mind food.

For your first mindwork assignment, do this. Take a blank sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle to make two columns. Label the column on the left “Mental Junk Food” and the one on the right “Nutritious Mind Food”. Write down all the stuff that you know or believe has a negative influence on you. Then write down the corresponding better alternative.


Here’s an example of something I did. I trimmed out cable TV from my daily routine. Yes, I cut the cable and everything that came with it. No more:

  • live sports,
  • network news,
  • commercials,
  • reality shows, and
  • prime time sitcoms.

It was amazing how much time I found to do other things like:

  • spend quality time with my family,
  • spend more quiet time with myself,
  • research, select and read good books,
  • volunteer in my community, and
  • selectively watch what I wanted to watch on Netflix and Amazon, and
  • choose what news I wanted to get from sources that “pushed” it to me.

These are my new, good habits, and I can’t even remember what it was like before. I’ve lost the appetite for all that old stuff. I don’t crave it anymore.

Make sense?

Do daily mindwork. Good things will become top-of-mind-heart. You’ll become what you think about for the better.

Published by Marc Casciani

Bridging brothers & sisters to what's important. Author of Craft Your Calling. Host of the Neighborly Love podcast.

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