City Speak: The 7 Mindsets

by Craig McFarland, Mayor of Casa Grande

One of my campaign pillars and community strategies is education and workforce development. I promised to promote what is good in our schools, training and education and to build a workforce ready to fill jobs. As a very wise person told me recently, “Significant changes come from significant investment.”

In January, I attended a student assembly at Cactus Middle School. It revolved around a theme called “The 7 Mindsets.”

“The 7 Mindsets” are laid out in a book by Scott Shickler and Jeff Waller that helps people, especially young people, to “Live Your Ultimate Life.” As the book states, it is a “blueprint for an extraordinary life.”

It seems to me that education and workforce development could benefit from these mindsets. It was fascinating to watch the young people at Cactus Middle School and how they embraced these concepts:

  • Everything is possible
  • Passion first
  • We are connected
  • 100 percent accountable
  • Attitude of gratitude
  • Live to give
  • The time Is now

The students at Cactus Middle School have one class unit per week that they dedicate to each of these “Mindsets.” That 45 to 60-minute period includes a planned curriculum that was developed by the book’s authors and staff. It even has music that is tied to each lesson (the kind of music that young people listen to). As we walked around the campus, every classroom door featured one of the “Mindsets.” Each door was decorated with their chosen “Mindset” along with commitment notes from students. Commitments like, “I commit to be a better person” and “I commit to be kinder to my fellow students.”

This “Mindset” program is being implemented in all of the Casa Grande middle schools. One of the principals made a comment that stuck with me. It was, “Through social, emotional, intelligence training and programs like ‘The 7 Mindsets’, we will spend less time on administering detention and spend more time on positive education.” Wow! Now that’s powerful! The “7 Mindsets” is relatively new but I’d bet it will have a long-term positive effect on personal relationships, education and workforce.

My belief and personal actions have always been to invest in our young people at an early age. Investment dollars and time go a lot further in a young person than someone who ends up in jail. Investments in organizations and events like the Unity March (organized by Villago Middle School), The Boys & Girls Clubs, Casa Grande Alliance, our local churches and all of the youth sports organizations are a good use of our time and our money.

One of my favorite quotes from “The 7 Mindsets” book spelled it out very well.

“We cannot solve the problems we face with the same level of thinking that created them.” – Albert Einstein

My wife Nancy has a line she learned from her Dad that she uses all the time, “You’re a loser, you’re a winner, you’re right!” Finally, the Casa Grande Elementary School District vision, paraphrased is worth remembering. If we are to be successful . . . “the responsibility is yours and mine!”