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Not easy to read

Here’s Real-Life Lesson #2,119 that I’ve taught football players for 40 years and college law enforcement students for two decades:  the difference between winning and losing is your ability to read. Triple meaning.

1st meaning:  Surviving in high-risk professions is a fight against time. When life and death are on the line, you don’t have a lot of time to make decisions. Rapid decisions either save or kill. Split-second decisions get you split, make you quit, lose it, or win it. It all depends on whether you are fit or unfit. Rapid-decision-making fitness is premised on the ability to speed-read, referring to the skill of reading a situation faster than Google-speed. In real-life-and-death moments, you can’t Google a solution. You have to read the situation by using your brain to process faster than a Google search. The more hits you get, the less hits you take.

Second meaning:  Speed-reading life-and-death situations depends on how fast you read people. Some humans are easy to read, some are not. How easy a person is to read depends on what they do. Mind-reading is the worst type of reading. Trying to read people’s minds can cause more problems than solutions. Reading a person’s words gives you stronger clues about a person’s intention but words and actions don’t always match. Humans don’t always do as they say and don’t always say as they do. But the best evidence of reading a person is actions. Performance. Good or bad, what a person does and doesn’t do is the safest, fastest way to speed-read.

Third meaning:  Reading real books separates you from the rest. Dual meaning. You will distance yourself from wasted time and from the rest of your competition that wants the same thing as you – to win in getting jobs, promotions, business survival, sports, and real-life survival. Reading and academic success are connected. Regardless of what definition you use for academic success, the extent you read real books is directly proportionate to the extent of academic success.

One of the toughest challenges I have had during twenty years as a college professor was changing non-readers to readers. The 10-90 Rule separated incoming freshmen from each other – less than 10% were habitual readers, over 90% were not. To most incoming freshmen, reading was a four-letter word. And, college open-admission policy meant that the 300 incoming freshman every September had different academic starting lines. They had extremely wide-ranging academic histories because of extremely different academic experiences, successes, and failures. The academic gap between freshmen is enormous. The college teaching goal is to close the gap by providing quality college education to all students, regardless of their respective academic starting lines.

The first step on day one was to start the process of changing the Literary Mindset, referring to attitudes toward reading books, specifically their love-hate relationship with reading. It’s not easy to change the Literary Mindset but it can be done. Like with effecting all change, it starts at the top with mindset shift and leadership. The good news is that college students can change for the better.  But positive change doesn’t just happen. Nothing just happens. Positive change takes heavy lifting – dual meaning. First meaning: it takes gut-spilling hard work to change attitudes about reading. Second meaning: true leaders L.I.F.T – Leaders Inspire Fierce Training

Leaders Inspire Failed Teams. There are more failed teams than successful teams because of the 10-90 Rule of Performance. Less than 10% of rookies and freshmen start with a burning commitment to high performance. Over 90% don’t. Change the ratio, change the outcome. Turning around losing programs require reversing the 10-90 Ratio from 10% high-performers to a minimum of 90% high-performers. Change the ratio to 90-10 and you change a dead program. Heavy-lifting leaders will not always be popular because over 90% of the world is conditioned to hate heavy-lifting in mind, body, and soul. Heavy-lifting leaders are often unpopular because of guilt by association. If you are associated with heavy-lifting in mind, body, and soul, you likely won’t be liked until the fight results are in. Win the popularity contest, lose the fight.

Empty motivational speeches are not enough to change academic apathy.  The key is to lift by changing love/hate relationships with reading books. The 90% of incoming freshmen who didn’t read habitually perceived reading as H.E.L.L. – Heavy Extreme Labourious Lifting intellectually. To the 90%ers, reading is the intellectual equivalent of working out. They associate both with pain instead of pleasure. Love-hate relationships are the number one difference between winning and losing, on and field, in any field. What you love to do and hate to do determine how well you do. Most college freshman started with ass-backward love-hate relationships. They loved to do wrong things and hated to do the right things. Here’s the good news – there’s a solution to skewed love-hate relationships. The way to change love-hate relationships is to lift. Every lifting experience is an expression of love, a joyous expression of the soul. Lifting is guaranteed to positively transform love-hate relationships of all kinds by strengthening mind, body, and soul.

Starting on day one, students were taught the benefits of reading, starting with increased practical intelligence. Faster processing speed, better split-second decisions. Reading is one of the top elements of intellectual strength-building. I reminded students and athletes that it’s impossible to build intellectual strength without reading books. Those who can, read – all three kinds. Those who can’t, don’t read. The decision to become a reader boils down to the most important exercise of all – the exercise of free will. Here’s Real-Life Lesson #3.008 that I’ve taught students and athletes – if you don’t read – all three kinds – someone else will. They will win, you won’t.

Our new website is a multi-media platform. Our mission is to lift. Our new website is centered on the concept of Blunt Talk Motivation that includes Blunt Talk Podcast, Blunt Talk Blog, and Blunt Talk videos. The links to the new website are the same as before and

Blunt Talk Podcast recently reached its 73rd country. Our blog had two record-setting days in May. We have had 166 podcast guests, all who have a soul of a lifter. Each Blunt Talk Podcast is a free, permanently archived download at:  Each episode is guaranteed to lift. We are humbled and blessed to connect globally with tens of thousands of listeners, viewers, and readers.  The most recent podcast includes ongoing chapters of a free audiobook called The Mystery of Murder: Working with the Dead. Thank you for your patience during our website renovations.

Blessings & all good things.


Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)

Owner – X Fitness Inc.

Head coach – Niagara X-men football


Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of SWAT FOOTBALL Books are at:

His books include:

4th & hell: seasons 1 and 2, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT No-Huddle Offense, SWAT Defense, SWAT Tackling Video & e-book,  X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur

He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. A new 8-volume interrogation book series will be released in 2014. And just released, a new children’s book called “BE FIT – DON’T QUIT.” He is currently writing three non-fiction motivational novels book called The Mystery of Murder: Working with the dead, Midnight Shift from Hell, and Another Bar Fight. Another book on human potential called “Hashtag Peace” is at the editing stage.


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