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Risk Control - Texas Style

3-1/2 foot rattlesnake
from under a cattle guard.

Neil Cody

Contributors Say Ed Says
Jun 10, 2014

Using TTP in Therapy

Dear Ed,

I feel curious and excited to try a TTP method in my counseling work with couples.

I ask two different couples if they feel willing to try something different; I tell them I would like to use a structured exercise that might help them experience receiving each others' feelings.

After they agree, I instruct them in the format described in your book The Trading Tribe [page 133]: one asks the other to "tell me what you're thinking" and then, after the partner has finished, the first person says, "Thank you." The asker and the teller then reverse roles.

One very important part of the instructions, and seemingly the most difficult to follow for these couples, consists of the requirement that the asker remain impassive and nonreactive aside from the statement, "Thank you."

I gently intervene at several points when either extra words or body language (usually eye-rolling) are added to the formula.

After ten minutes or so of exchanging thoughts, we shift to asking and telling feelings in the moment. It is amazing to me how much shorter the answers become! Though short, the answers feel much "closer to the bone" and direct and real than the thoughts that were exchanged.

The final phase of the exercise asks that the participants "show" what they are feeling. This is not only very difficult for everyone involved, it even elicits some anger from the partners who felt certain that they would "fail" and from the ones who really would rather conceal their real feelings. They gamely make the effort, for which I am grateful and proud of them.

I notice that each couple's experience was different, and I get more insight into the stuck points and strong points of each pair.

One couple reports new awareness of what is actually happening inside their partner, as opposed to the (incorrect) assumptions they normally make.

For example, the woman "shows" her partner that she is seething with anger, and what she appears to be doing is shrugging her shoulders and throwing her hands out to the side. Her husband is astounded to learn that she has the feelings she reports, since she appears to him to be feeling,"Who cares? I don't feel anything about you!"

The husband, reporting on his own feelings, says he becomes aware that he is feelings are limited and feels sad, because he wants to have more feelings. Not having feelings is a major defense he uses, and I don't believe he can experience his emptiness if he remains in his head where he is very comfortable.

The other couple reports that they feel a difference when they each are able to speak without the concern that the other is going to argue or get defensive. They decide that they are going to try to use this technique at home when they have something challenging to talk about.

In summary, I learn many important lessons from this experiment: that couples who react to each other in a conversation are unlikely to establish rapport; that moving from sharing thoughts to sharing feelings substantially deepens the dialogue; and that my role as a guide through the structure of the exercise is vastly more useful that any "brilliant" analysis I can provide.

I feel very happy to perhaps promote the development of some "Essential Tribes" through the application of TTP principles.

Thank you,

Thank you for sharing your process and for reporting on your use of TPP principles in your therapeutic practice.

Jun 10, 2014

Intentions = Results

Dear Sir,

I sit at your feet and listen, please see my humble question.

An ant is walking up my arm, his intention, to reach my shoulder, I become aware of it, my intention, to be apart from his, and blow it off my arm.
The ant did not reach his goal, can I infer that his intention was not pure?

I am holding the green stone but it has not turned to emerald for me yet.

Thank you for providing a means of communication with you.

Thank you for raising this issue.

1. An ant walks up your arm.

2. You conclude the ant has an intention to reach your shoulder.

3. You then gain awareness of the ant and blow it away.

4. The ant does not reach your shoulder, despite your conclusion that it has that intention.

5. You ask me a question about the "purity" of intention.

6. I answer your question.

All the above results (1-6) indicate our intentions.

In the story, The Jademaster, the stone does not turn to emerald; the student gains awareness that he does not hold real jade.

You Come to Know Your Intention

by observing your Results


Jun 10, 2014


I was thinking about you when I saw the chart today.


Thank you for thinking about me.

This Palladium Nugget

does not change
or care or even know about
its own price.

If you would know about price
don't study nuggets;

study how people feel
about nuggets.

June 10, 2014

Risk Management

Chief Ed,

I am interested in Risk Management.

I see the TTP Risk Management essay and the specific discussion of Lake Ratio, here:

I am interested in what time frame you utilize to capture the drawdown stats. I wonder if you sample system drawdown each quarter, and/or each month, week, each day, each hour, minute, second etc.

I wonder what the time frame is for the Lake Ratio graph (Figure 9) in the Risk Management essay.

I notice that the longer the period is between samples, the more possible it is for a given system to exhibit what appears to be low volatility, assuming the system recovers before the next measuring period.


Thank you for raising this issue.

You might consider setting your analytics to the shortest possible sampling interval - generally to one day for long-term trading systems - and to one-minute bars or individual ticks for day-trading systems.

People Have To Respond
to the 100-year flood

even if the average level
hardly fluctuates.

June 9, 2014

Tribe Meeting Report - Stressors and Donors


Four present, interstate members off week.

We have a new member and so we go around for brief introductions. Drumming goes well. We do full exercises this week for the new member (member 6).

Member 1 has his trading back on track. He records his feelings and plans to modify his monthly report to tribe to include more monitoring of daily actions (eg number of trades correctly taken, violations of the system), not just his results (eg x% made this month). Members 1 and 2 have no big issues at present.

Member 6: Issues around fear, especially fear of being promoted (he moved jobs to avoid being promoted!). Says he feels very apprehensive about the Tribe meeting although everyone has been very welcoming.

Member 3 (myself): Two issues - "Shaking off criticism by my father". Also "Doing things the hard way, doing things I don't want to do, forcing the issue".

I go first on the first issue. I appoint member 2 as process manager and start with three events relevant to the first issue: One a dispute about who was to come to my wedding and my father's anger and condemnation when I made it known that a particular person was not welcome. The other a time when I went on an assertiveness course and tried the techniques out on my mother, which backfired on me. Another time I arranged to meet with my father for a couple of hours to talk things over. He initially accepted and then send me a fax full of condemnation and trenchant criticisms, cancelling the meeting. My father also kept a file on his computer of his criticisms and grievances against me.

I get worked up fast, especially after I encourage people to provide the field of encouragement. Then the feelings die away. I want to have another go and encourage the PM to freeze me and go for the pivotal moment.

On the second attempt the PM does a great job of freezing me at the right moment and an incident occurs to me. I am 7 years old, after my grandmother dies and I feel a strong fear of dying. I can't sleep, my heart is pounding. This goes on for weeks and months. I obsessively recite prayers to try and get through the night alive. Finally I work up the courage to go and ask my parents for help. The time is probably around 2am. I go into my parents' room and my mother asks what I am doing. I say I am frightened of dying. MY father wakes up and gets angry with me. Can't I see they need to sleep. Why am I being stupid? Can't I have some consideration for my mother? Get back to bed and don't bother us again!

We reenact the scene. My father donates two rocks. The first is that whatever I do, no matter how hard I try, not matter how sincere I am, regardless of good intentions, is not just not good enough, it is bad and worthy only of condemnation. So I should just shut up and be quiet and not bother anyone. In this case I was trying to stay alive and get some sleep, and I needed help. Second, whatever I am good at (eg academics, book learning, mathematics, science, computers, white collar work) is not important, and whatever is important (like sport, 'real' work like tradesmen do) I am not good at. This second rock does not come up specifically in this role play but it is the constantly repeated theme of my father that feels like it is directed at me, and it is implicit it seems in all his condemnations of me.

We replace these with two new rocks. First your self worth comes from your own assessment of your value and from the things you do, not from one other person's judgement - this is something each person needs to assess for themselves. Thanks to our new member for this one, which I really like. Second, when you are dealing with other people, receiving them and being empathetic towards them makes it possible to better understand their motives and what they are doing. Eg when someone criticises you, it may be more about them than about you. That way, you can avoid being sucked into their dramas because you can see things more clearly.

After this I review the incidents above and some others and the new rocks seem to work well.

I also remember my mother telling me that after my grandmother died I was very upset. My mother got me to write her a letter "To Grandma in Holy Heaven" and she said Grandma would be able to read it and she was still really alive in Heaven. My mother said that this made me happier. I see now that this was a medicinal solution - I could see from my parents' reaction that they did not believe that she was in heaven and this just made things worse, as medicinal solutions often do. I see she applies medicinal solutions to her own problems too, and does not deal with her feelings. The condemnations of me were not really about me, but more a reflection of their struggles to cope with life.

I feel a certain sadness that my Dad could not bring himself to accept me as I was. It seems important to fully feel this sadness. His own father was far more successful in business than he was. I remember my brother telling me that on the day of one of his biggest sporting triumphs, after he told Dad, Dad instantly launched into a recital of his own sporting triumphs which my brother had of course heard countless times before. I kind of feel sad for him now that he felt the need to do that. Another time Dad took one of my achievements and made it out to be his own.

A tribe member reminds me of some of the good things I have done. I feel their criticisms lack power now and I can construct my own sense of value.

After I release the members from their roles we check out. Member 6 comments that the hot seat triggered strong and similar feelings in himself.

Member 6 does not want to do a hot seat yet, as he feels frightened. So we discuss his issue with an emphasis on his feelings. He is frightened of being promoted and not sure why. He is smart and talented and well-qualified, we note, so it is a mystery We ask him to focus on the feelings and ask when he feels that way before. He remembers his father making him perform martial arts displays for the extended family when he was young, and humiliating him when he makes a mistake. His father also orders him to stand up to bullies and fight them and even to bully other boys himself. His father brags how he is making his son 'tough'. Member 6 does not like the feeling of his father berating him. He recognizes the fear of promotion as the same thing as the fear of having to do martial arts displays and of making a mistake. If he gets promoted, everyone will be watching, and he will probably make a mistake. The thought of this makes for unpleasant feelings.

As the member does not want to do a hot seat, we stop it at that point. We encourage the member to focus on his feelings in similar situations between now and the next meeting and even to write them down with a view to perhaps doing a hot seat next time. Someone notes that being on the hot seat is kind of like being "on display" so member 6 might find this similar to his original issue, but with the difference that we accept your feelings whatever they are.

Thank you for sharing your process and for documenting your meeting.

You might consider reviewing Donation Dynamics in TTP Extensions, on page 6 - and the definition of Rock on page 12. A Rock generates actions in response to feelings.

You can download this booklet as a PDF file for free - or purchase a hard copy at my on-line store.

In this model, the Client receives the Rock from the Rock Donor, during an episode in which both the Rock Donor and the Client experience stress from the Stressor.

In your case, I gather you get your Medicinal Rock from your mother as she shows you how she manages her feelings about your father's behavior - by shutting down and making up stories.

In the Rocks Process we draw distinctions between the Stressor and the Donor to help keep the books straight when we start returning (fore-giving) Rocks.

You might consider re-running your role play so that you get your Medicinal Rock from your mother while your father acts out.

The Client Learns How To Cope

with stress

by accepting a Medicinal Rock

from the Rock Donor

TTP Extensions, page 6


June 9, 2014

Comment From the Analyst (see Endorsement, below)


Thank you for the note (asking if I want my name on the work).

In keeping with your site, let it stand as is.

I enjoy working with you on this. I learn much and like the feeling of camaraderie.

I feel sadness, annoyance and disgust when reading the amazon webpage.

I wish the author could feel the feeling of describing his work in a prospectus.

Thank you for conducting the research and for sharing your feelings about the marketing of the book.
June 9, 2014

Wants to Start a Tribe in Utah


I am interested in starting a Trading Tribe in Utah.

You can find resources for starting and operating a Tribe in my book, The Trading Tribe, by reading through these FAQ pages, by attending a Workshop and/or by visiting a Tribe near you (see the Tribe Directory).

June 9, 2014

Returning a Panic Rock to Actual Parents

Hi Ed,

In our trading tribe as we were just starting to use the rocks process, i took the hot seat and discovered a panic rock that has been driving my reactions to everything my whole life. This is a huge rock for me. We did the role play and i returned the panic rock to my "mom".

I observe that i still am using this rock a lot.

I have been living away from my parents for the past 20 years. I am now visiting them, minus my own family (wife and kids). The thought just occurred to me, if there is a way to return the panic rock to my mother without creating more drama? Please let me know your thoughts.


Thank you for sharing your process and for raising this issue.

The Rocks Process continues from the point of returning the medicinal rock during role play - and includes accepting and practicing with the Heart Rock that contains pro-active, intimacy-centric resources.

You might consider allowing your new Heart Rock resources to guide you as you rejuvenate your relationship with your mother, and others.

Giving your mother a physical Panic Rock, without testing her for willingness, and further preparations, might throw her into panic.

Take it Away! Take it Away!

I don't know anything about
a Panic Rock.

And I don't want to find out.

Jun 8, 2014

Wooden Nickels


Inflation is a bitch.

As a memento of my recent visit to Austin, I enclose this photo.

Texas State History Museum
sells wooden nickels
for 27¢ each.


Thank you for remembering me and for sending me the photo.

I can't really get very cynical about it since I don't think you can get much sin for a nickel anymore.

FYI: Nic´kle
n. 1. (Zool.) The European woodpecker, or yaffle; also nicker pecker.

So you likely can't get much sin for a nickle either - unless you happen to have the nicker pecker form.

Jun 7, 2014

Govopoly Review


I notice this review of your book, Govopoly, on-line at


Firstly, the aesthetics;
A reasonably heavy book due to the very good quality gloss paper used. Each page features a pleasing-to-the-eye colour picture that acts (most times) as a metaphor for the content on that page complete with Ed’s trademark dry style of humour evident here & there. (which I enjoy) It’s a somewhat pricey book but as I say heavy glossy paper ‘n all so you gonna be paying.

Secondly, the content;
The message in a nutshell is basically that as an economy matures and the government grows, free competition is stifled & crony capitalism increases. This results in/from increased public debt, rising prices & loss of freedom with no incentive for entrepreneurs to do what they do best (i.e. innovate, invent, create) Eventually the whole thing collapses due to the government becoming so large that it consumes almost all of the productive resources in an economy. (Think of the predator-prey model)
In the book he uses the metaphor of duckweed growing exponentially & taking over a pond of water and eventually killing all life in that pond. You don’t notice the weed initially (when you could’ve done something about it) and by the time you do notice it’s too late to do anything about it. Such are the properties of exponential growth.

All of this is all illustrated via the ‘systems dynamics’ point of view which is a method of trying to make sense of complex systems & the main variables that interact with each other within that system.
I have a lot of time for the system dynamics way of thinking. It appeals to me since much of it is counterintuitive and it often amazes me how a small tweak to one variable can have a profound impact to the system as a whole (Think of your own trading systems)
This is probably why I enjoyed the book as much as i did

Thirdly, my thoughts.
I thought it was a very enjoyable & simple read and by simple I don’t mean ‘dumbed-down’ Seykota seems to have followed the Einstein motto of “make things as simple as possible but not simpler” and he totally succeeds.
Also I found it disturbing that the system dynamics model predicts that the USA is on the road to collapse since we have long gone past the point where something could have been done. It’s simply too late to do anything now. The system must collapse making way for a new one to rise from the rubble of the old. The System dynamics model suggests that, at this stage, there is no fix.
If you buy that pessimistic outcome then you could start doing some prep work to your investments & lifestyle right now to make your life a bit easier later.

As a supplement to the book, Ed has a website where you can run the govopoly models with tweaks & adjustments to the key variables in the system & you can see what effect the pieces have on the whole

Fourthly, . . . My new hero
Those of you who have read “The creature from Jeckyll Island will know all about Andrew Jackson, 7th president of the USA, who famously shut the doors on the Bank of the USA (Americas 2nd attempt at Central banking) and said; “You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal God, I will rout you out!” **Love it!!**

And sure enough, true to his word, he did rout them out.

Ed Seykota gives Jackson some good press in the book.
Unfortunately he wasn’t around in 1913 when the Fed was formed so that's our loss. Not many statesmen with Jacksons cohones these days. . . .hence all the issues & problems we have. Our current crop of 'statesmen' seem to have little interest in routing out "thieves and vipers"

Lastly, What’s the message for the trendfollower/system trader ? Not really that much of a discussion on trading in the book so if you’re after a book on trading then perhaps give this one a miss. I suppose the message is, with the government in control of pretty much everything, price signals become distorted leading to exaggerated booms & busts. It’s very hard to determine what is overvalued & undervalued anymore. It’s gonna be a tough ask to make money from fundamental analysis or mean reversion in these types of environments. Trend following trading is the way to go & since the govopoly model predicts rising prices as Government becomes bigger I would think that the message to be read between the lines is this; . . . . Favour the Long side

Caveat: the above applies if you agree with what Seykota has written in the book.

All in all a good read although some may find it too simple. I was already aware of most of the stuff in the book but it was enlightening & entertaining to see the information presented that way it was. I imagine people might baulk at the $120 price tag & that’s fair enough (but I still reckon it’s a good read with good information and the paper IS lovely to touch & turn so for me it was worth it)
“Creature from Jeckyll Island” is another good book which covers some of govopoly topics but in much greater depth & it’s a lot cheaper.

If you feel like getting angry read the Jeckyll book.
Oh yeh, I forget . . . . take your feelings of anger to tribe. HA! Wink

Thank you for sharing the link.

Jun 7, 2014

Wants to Trade Correctly

Dear Mr. Ed,

I am trader and a great admirer of your work. I have been trading for 5 years without any success. I leave in Greece and unfortunately trading is not very developed here.

Most of the material I study is from trading sites. I am a very disciplined trader, but I haven't yet found the way to trade in a proper way and to formulate a trading method.

I was wondering if you could help trade correctly and teach me a trading method that is successful ! I am trading currencies in FXCM or Metatrader 4. I hope you can help me,thank you in advance.


Thank you for sharing your process and for raising these issues.

You might consider taking your feelings about <trading correctly> to Tribe.

Also, I may present another Workshop, later this year, with emphasis on trading - depending on demand.

Jun 7, 2014

TTP in a Nutshell

Hi Ed,

Hope you are fine.

What I feel I learn from you:

1. I = R [Intentions = Results: Structure ==> Behavior]

2. Win or Lose, Everybody Gets what they want.

3. Feelings that we do not feel run our life.

With regards,

Thank you for sharing your insights.

I wonder how you feel about riding winners, cutting losses and managing risk.

Jun 6, 2014

Some Like It Hot


Thank you for the conversation yesterday. Thank you for turning up the heat.

Thank you for considering the issue of how you wish to employ your talents.

Jun 6, 2014

Standing Up For What Someone Else Believes


[I'm] not sure if this extends the talk about moral relativism or not.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I was attending a large cookout at someone's house, there were many people, friends of the hosts and mutual friends of mine. There was music, both with a DJ and a live band to follow.

When the DJ was signing off from his stint, he played Lee Greenwood's song "God Bless the U.S.A." When the song reached the verse "..and I gladly stand up...." , a man I knew, or thought I knew, was looking around the crowd and with a scowl on his face he started walking around yelling, "Stand up! Stand up!", waving his arms in an upward motion.

An uneasy feeling swept over me in a big way. Since I was not standing, would this be confrontational? I certainly did not want a confrontation at an event such as this.

Was he really that serious? The look on his face made me think he was.

Later when talking about this with my wife, she mentioned something about showing respect, I replied that I understand that, But the song is about freedom. What about my freedom to sit during a Lee Greenwood song?

I have interacted with this man since then, but there is now some distance between us.

Oh............ I stood up.

Thank you for sharing your process and for raising this issue.

I wonder what your associate might say if you ask him about his feelings about <wanting everybody to stand up with him>.

You might consider taking your feelings about <social pressure>, <loyalty>, <embarassment> and <nationalism> to Tribe.

You might consider seeing how one man gets people to stand up without requiring them to do so.

Jun 6, 2014

Wants a Book Endorsement


Wonderful! [Thank you for agreeing to review my book, and perhaps write something on your site I can use for the back cover.]

Would you mind getting me a copy OR letting me know once you publish it?

How I Beat the Pros,
Doubled the Nasdaq,
Spending ONLY 1 Minute-A-Week Investing in the Stock Market

I have some results (see box below), from a Tribe member who agrees to check your data and findings.

I conclude your system in application to the QQQ index, over the test period, produces a MAR of 0.4 and a maximum drawdown of 31% with the longest drawdown lasting 56 months (4-2/3 years).

This produces a higher MAR than a buy-and-hold strategy, over that period - since the QQQ shows a 75% drawdown - and particularly if you ignore the tax advantages of buy-and-hold and ignore transaction costs.

Curiously, your system does not apply to S&P quite so well, producing a MAR of 0.1 with a maximum drawdown of 28% - and with the longest drawdown lasting 129 months (10-3/4 years).

I do not have any evidence of your single-instrument, all-in system working on any other long-term price series.

Nor do I have any evidence that you or anyone else has an actual track record from using this system long enough to "Double the Nasdaq" despite that implication on the cover.

In comparison, a simple Donchian system, with diversification in commodity futures, typically has a MAR of 0.6, with a maximum drawdown you can control by adjusting portfolio heat.

I don't know where you expect to find clients willing to sit through a 4-2/3 year 31% drawdown - or a 28% one lasting 10-3/4 years - while having to keep updating the averages.

You may quote this column, in its entirety, by sending me a photocopy of this column for me to sign. You may not extract excerpts, out of this context, for use in your marketing materials.

As indicated, I have one additional trade due to a methodology quirk in their spreadsheet (see cell K4991).

The Results.
CAGR: 12.46%
MAR: 0.40
Max DD: 31.1%
Longest DD: 56.1 months

I notice the equity peaks in the buy and hold method on 3/9/2000 along with the index peak. From there a Max DD of 78% occurred and it was still in a 17% DD when their data ended on 12/31/13.

I took another spin at the analysis this morning.

I picked four major total return indices to further test their SMA system.

The total return indices: (i) GSCI Total Return (data start 1970), (ii) S&P 500 Total Return (data start 1988), (iii) DJ Industrial Total Return (data start 1987) and (iv) Russell 2000 Total Return (data start 1995).

This analysis quickly faded as none of these indices contain enough OHLC history for significant testing.

Only the corollary S&P 500 price index has enough OHLC to test the system.

The results.
CAGR: 3.11%
MAR: 0.11
Max DD: 28.4%
Longest DD: 128.9 months

Thank you for the opportunity to work on this with you.



Jun 5, 2014

Unfair Treatment

Hi Ed,

I experience all sort of very strong emotions in situations when I feel I or my family isn't treated fairly.

I teach my children to be good to other children and I go ballistic whenever I see other parents don't care if when their children do bad things to my children.

I feel the same when I get treated unfairly at work or in everyday life.

It's one of the strongest emotions I feel and I know it affects many aspects of my life. Fred is trying to communicate something to CM but can't get through.

I get very emotional to a point of steam getting out of my ears and then it all goes away and I'm calm again...for some time.

I'm wondering what the positive intention of that feeling may be?


Thank you for sharing your process and for raising this issue.

You might consider taking your feelings about <unfair treatment> to Tribe as an entry point.

Anger typically associates with the positive intention of boundary managment.

Jun 5, 2014

Govopoly in Action: Your Phone Bill

Dear Ed,

Here's a good govopoly example for you.

Thank you for the example.

I notice some smaller, independent carriers trying to chip away at the Telephone Govopoly.

Jun 4, 2014

Yorba Linda Tribe Meeting Report:
Trading Performance


While driving to the meeting I am thinking about my trading performance over the last two weeks.

Before the start of the meeting the PM suggests that we concentrate more on role playing in the tribe. One of the members is absent from the meeting.

The PM asks if there is an issue I would like to work on.

I have been struggling with a repeating a pattern in my trading of making some profits and then giving it all back. I see this happen several times in trading, my account being up 5% at the beginning of the month and down 5% by the end of the month

I share with the tribe, my issue of "not willing to be successful in trading". I deliberately fail at certain things and walk away when I see success at hand. I repeat this drama several times in my life.

I tell the PM that I have an issue of 'deliberately creating losses' in my account. PM encourages me to tell him more about the issue. As I probe deeper, I remember an incident that left me with the same feeling of worry and despair.

My boss who was also a colleague for several years, before his promotion. As a colleague there was rivalry and competition at times. When he gets promoted he starts treating as someone wants to let you know who is the boss.

One day we had a long discussion on issues relating to work. Soon after I get off work. While I am driving home I get a call from him. He asks me how far am I? I tell him about 5 minutes away from my house. The drive being 45 minutes long, I try to make him realize that I am almost home and have been driving for about 40 minutes. He tells me to turn around and come back to work. I am confused, I ask him if there is an urgent issue? why you are telling me to come back to work? he does not answer my questions and just replies back with 'turn around' and hangs up the phone. I am upset by his behavior and do not comply with this 'who is the boss' command.

The next morning I am stressed out and feel anxious wondering what is he going to say or do to me? I am expecting to get a quick phone call from him, instead he shows up at my cubical. He looks at me with a very stern face and tells me that he expects me to turn around and come back to work when instructed by him and leaves immediately without giving me any time to reply. This incident leaves me feeling scared. I have this feeling at all times whenever I deal with him afterwards. Soon after this incident, I decide to get away from him and change departments.

The tribe decides to role-play this incident. One of the member acts as my boss. He uses his cell phone to make a mock phone call. I answer the phone he tells me where I was? I reply I am driving home (I notice my heartbeat rising). The conversations ends with him instructing to turn around. Then we act out the next morning's encounter. He enters the room comes near me and tells me, that he expects me to turn around when instructed. I re-live the incident and feel anger and despair at his behavior.

The PM suggests that we switch roles and play again. He asks me if I want to change my response and to use the newly acquired skills from the TTP process, I agree. This time when the boss calls me I reply to him with a "yes I can come back to the office, just need to get to the house for few minutes and I will be on my way". When I reach the office I ask him if there was something he wanted me to work on?
He reply's that there was but he took care of it himself.

I feel angry and frustrated again. The PM suggests to share that feeling with the boss. I try but am not very successful at verbalizing the feeling, instead I become too aggressive. Then the other member offers to play the role. He tells the boss that he feels anger and frustration. He tells him that his treatment of him was unfair and cold. The boss realizing the his subordinates frustration open up, and starts to share his feelings of worry about the issues at work at that time. He further tells him that and all he was focused on fixing the problem and was drawn into it. He starts to shares his feeling loosing control of the team and particularly him. The further shares his feelings of worry and loosing control over everything.

I immediately see a different side to the incident. I no longer see an arrogant and controlling boss but a compassionate and caring person, someone who wants to get work done and prove himself as a boss to the team. I also recognize one of my response patterns. I start to share my feeling with the boss and receive his. At this point other members start to explore new feelings around this incident. They also relate to the incident as a common occurrence at work place. We all benefit from the process.

I release the members from their roles and welcome them back to the tribe as tribe members and as a friends.

Thank you for sharing your process and for documenting your meeting.

You might consider (1) willing to succeed and (2) willing to feel.

The former implies "will," as in moving forward through will power.

The later implies "willingness," as in acceptance.

TTP emerges where will and willingness converge.

June 4, 2014

Austin Tribe Meeting Report


The first Hot Seat involves a Tribe Member who is a programmer. He is upset, angry and afraid. He feels this way after a former programmer comes back to his company. He thinks this coder means him harm. The Tribe Member attaches important new coding on to the original architecture that this person created. Since being back, the returnee finds flaws in this new coding and reports it to the superiors in the company. The Hot Seat wants to communicate better with this person. While trying to role-play the Tribe Member gets stuck but eventually expresses his feelings to the coworker but doesn’t get much response. He is afraid that he might get pushed aside so the Tribe Member approaches his manager. During the role-play, he tells his manager how he feels. He feels angry and scared and that he will be out of favor. He senses that they will promote the returnee over him. The manager tells him that he has other projects for him and he can still work on the one he is currently involved in. The Tribe Member now feels more confident and feels he can handle the situation. I can relate because sometimes I feel angry and scared if someone in the office gets assigned a new task that maybe I would like.

Another Tribe Member expresses that she is feeling sad and gets into forms. She rubs her face with her hands and rocks her body back and forth. She remembers a time when she is very young and practicing the violin. Her father comes up behind her and points out a mistake she makes. At first they try the Control Centric model. She tells him she doesn’t like him coming up behind her and criticizing her. He says he is just trying to help her. This model goes nowhere. Then they apply the Intimacy Centric model. She wants him to sit down and listen to her music without interrupting and applauding while cheering Bravo. He does this for her and both father and daughter feel support. I can relate because my mother would always make me practice my trombone to be perfect. The music isn’t as important as playing it well.

Another Tribe Member still has a problem keeping agreements. At the last Tribe Meeting he says the limited partnership agreement he is in is not a good deal for him. At that time he agrees to see an attorney to get himself out of the deal. He finally acknowledges he never goes to see a lawyer. He promises again to see an attorney. The Chief and the Tribe Member agree that for the remainder of the meeting he can’t contribute or role-play. The Chief wants to see if the Member can keep this agreement. He does keep the agreement.

I speak up and say I want rapport with a member. The Chief shows surprise that I ask for what I want. Before the meeting, I feel that a Tribe Member verbally cut me off a couple of times. I say I feel anger and annoyance and ask the Member to express her feelings. She says she feels sad. I thank her for sharing her feelings. We feel good about our relationship now. During this process I always feel the urge to try to make the other person feel better. However, I have a right to my feelings every bit as much as the Member has to her feelings. The Chief also brings up a point saying that he is obliging my need to feel invisible. I know sometimes I feel the need to let others go ahead of me and repress my feelings. I feel the need to work on this issue at the next Tribe Meeting.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Jun 4, 2015

Sticking to Bed


Your response to my FAQ entry from June 1 at first flies under my radar, but today I notice I indeed have a energy drain/shut down response. This surprises me because I never notice this before.

When situations get difficult and more accurately when feelings I don't want to feel get amped up I feel sleepy and energy drain. I feel this way over past few weeks. I just lie in bed not making progress on goals I set.

When I feel "this is too difficult" or when I feel "confusion" or "frustration" I find myself stuck to my bed.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Jun 4, 2014

Sexual Fantasies

Dear Ed,

I notice that many people seem to have difficulty sharing their sexual wishes, or fantasies, or even simply their feelings about their sexual relationship, with their intimate partners.

Oddly, it seems that this type of sharing is more difficult between couples than between "temporary" partners in a casual hook-up. I wonder what makes us feel less safe with someone close than with someone we may not even know well enough to care about.

Personally, my first image is of not wanting to cause conflict or "hurt" my partner, for example, what if s/he feels criticized or blamed, even if that is not my intention? But I know enough about human nature to know that there is a deeper layer than this.

Perhaps I fear feeling vulnerable. My own sexuality is open for observation; possibly the hurt I fear is my own.

I wonder what is the worst that could happen, and can't even think of anything that really would "happen", except perhaps an increase in intimacy and closeness.

I wonder what we are all so afraid of that we leave so much unexpressed.


Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider taking your feelings about <sharing fantasies> to Tribe.

You Can Identify
your sexual fantasy

by noticing
what you already do.

Jun 4, 2014

Giving Up Resistance

Dear Ed,

Thank you for sharing the Mandroid video in Youtube. As I see it I
experience astonishment, joy, admiration, and envy. I like it a lot.


Today I enter trance and at once something like <sadness> overwhelmes me.

My body shakes, I start crying for some seconds. And at once, it is weird, I dissociate from the crying-shaking-suffering part. I experience two "me´s". The one, the body, shakes and suffers, and I am deatached from it and can observe what is happening as if it were someone else´s process. What I see is [self] resisting. A basic resistence not against something particular, but against "what is".

What [self] does looks curious and does not make sense to me. From this place, I see that [self], while he sees the futility and suffering of resisting, has no idea about how to stop it.

I remember East religions which mention that peace (or happiness) = lack of suffering and suffering = resistence.

I wonder how to give up <resistence>.

Best regards,

Thank you for sharing your process and for raising this issue.

You might consider taking the feeling of <wanting to give up resistance> to Tribe.

People Can Lock In

to wanting to let go
of the wanting
to let go.

Jun 3, 2014

View from the Hot Seat


I send this report on 29 May but I do have any "thanks ... Ed" email and I don't see the report on FAQ even after Google searching for phrases in the report. I resubmit this in case the original has gone astray.


In the invite for this week I (member 3) write

1. We need to terminate hot seats for lack of willingness.
2. We need to keep the focus relentlessly on our feelings. Everyone is empowered to call out digressions from feelings. Eg Whys guys talk, suggesting solutions, analysis of problems etc.
3. I think maybe people should not appoint their own process manager. The meeting chairman will appoint the PM based on his perception of their sticking to the process and pulling the plug when someone is not willing.
4. The right time to freeze the person to identify the critical incident always seems too soon. You have to take a chance.

Everyone present speaks in support of these principles.

Three present, interstate members off week.

We receive updates from the two interstate members. Member 5 has his trading back on the rails after a rough time the previous two weeks following a massive discretionary increase in account size after previously excellent trading.

Member 4 has been recording his feelings daily and concludes:

> Trading success is critical to my financial goals. $1.4m in 5 years
> And there is pain that comes from realising that I have to cut some goals. (Your words).
> Also realise that I have a quit rock that happens when I face a challenge I replace this with a work rock.

He meets his commitment to write down his goals by saying they are the same as the ones he talked about in January. I remind him that he says he often does the least possible to get by and this might be a good hot seat topic for next time. He doesn't reply yet.

We have a new member (member 6) starting next meeting. He has bought Ed's book which often demonstrates strong commitment.

Drumming goes really well as we cook up a good vibe, my conga drum and drumming lessons may contribute to this. We do only brief exercises this week.

Who has a hot seat? Two of us do.

First hot seat member 1 who had a fairly large drawdown recently in large part from system violations, after many months of solid trading.

We kind of wander around for a while looking for the actual issue which seems clear at first them becomes more fuzzy. Again and again we refocus back on feelings. How do you feel when you decide to hold onto the losing position against your system?

I feel a need to be right. You still have some of those positions in breach of your system, how does that feel? Well they are protected by very close stops and I am not worrying about those positions - they can do what they want - I am thinking about my new positions.

Can you imagine how you will feel when one of these 4 positions gets stopped out? I don't expect that to happen. Perhaps you might record your feelings at the time you put trades on and when you close them out and a couple of times a week for each active trade?

Not sure how you would do that. OK you swear by Denise Shull and she says to do exactly that! I'll have to have a think about that. He reports also some other feelings.

I then suggest we are at the point where either member 1 decides to take some actions by the next meeting to record and capture feelings, or we do a hot seat right now, or close this for lack of willingness. Member decides he will try to capture feelings between this and the next meeting and look to incorporate into his monthly report. Member 5's last report captures feelings per trade and may be a model, though it looks difficult.

End of hot seat. In debrief, we feel some small progress in the acknowledgement of the feeling of the need to be right and some others. I remind him that being able to surface your feelings is a kind of skill, it does not come naturally to everyone, and many learn a long time ago not to express their feelings or even to acknowledge them.

Second hot seat: me. Feeling out of sorts in social situations, awkward, everyone else seems self-assured, want to leave, feel like a social outcast at times, etc. Ramp up the feeling, get quite hot. PM asks me to look for an incident. Find an incident at age ~12, when I socialize with my brothers and two cousins playing table tennis. I feel bored and try to change the subject to things I am interested in, like science. This doesn't work and the conversation returns to what seems mundane to me. Nothing really that traumatic to work through here. I have a second go at it. At the peak of feeling when the process manager again asks me to find an incident in the past, I realize a couple of things.

First I am introverted and half my problem consists of thinking I should be an extrovert. I now see no problem here provided I function well.

Second my late father is extremely extroverted and when alive he routinely condemns any trait in me, including this, different to him. Before he dies he prepares a list on his computer of his complaints about me. This to the point that he has undiagnosed ADHD, and he feels people without ADHD are just dull and boring. I don't have ADHD. He softens this attitude a bit when he realizes he has ADHD. My conclusion is that all this condemnation rubs off on me. I can shake it off.

Third in social situations, try to focus on the other people and making them comfortable, receiving them. I look back at situations where I feel awkward and notice that often other people also felt awkward and unsure. In one case where I feel people exclude me they are just hanging around with people they know and that they feel comfortable with.This approach might work.

In debrief we feel a bit guilty about no rocks process. I feel somewhat confident that the hot seat helps.

I try my third strategy later in various situations and it works well. Sometimes even before I utter a word, things seem more relaxed and comfortable.

Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider comparing (1) "shaking something off" in the sense of getting rid of something you don't like and (2) "shake it up baby now" in the sense of Twist and Shout.

In the later case, your Process Manager encourages you to take the feeling of <wanting to shake it off> to the freeze point.

When in Doubt

twist and shout.
Jun 3, 2014

Wants a Powerful Laptop

Dear Mr. Seykota,

I'm looking for a powerful laptop that is suited for the following tasks:

- design of simple long-term trend-following systems

- simulation of these systems over several thousand instruments over several decades

- optimization of the system parameters

Can you give me some advice what laptop specifications I might look for (w.r.t processor speed, memory, hard drive)?

Yours sincerely,

Thank you for raising this issue.

Any laptop works for basic back testing - if you know how to work it.
I figure you might as well get one with a big orange nose.

PS. I have the same recommendation for questions about which kind of car suits you best to get you to the grocery store and back.

When in Doubt

go for one
with a big orange nose.

Jun 2, 2014

More On Moral Relativism (see previous)


Thank you for the opportunity to examine my feelings about these concepts. I notice that I feel very little about them. They feel like a kind of atavism--an appendix, or perhaps the ability to correctly return Communist Pioneer Youth salute. I remember that last one as a critical skill in my childhood, but the only use I have for it now is to illustrate the difference between my life now and then.

OK, running with the communist youth analogy, good and bad feel like arbitrary impositions that simultaneously (1) restrict my freedom of choice and (2) absolve me of responsibility for the choices I make as long as I choose the "good" ones.

Thank you for sharing your feelings about the political system.

When enough people follow your example, the system may change.

Jun 2, 2014


Hello Ed,

You might like this image:

Thank you for sending me the quote.

I wonder how you feel about limits.

Jun 2, 2014

Scrubbing Data


I "scrub" my data before I use it but after reading the 27 May '14 post "Confirming a System Back Test" I realize I have not checked it for open=high=low=close. I.e., closing data only.

Sure enough, some of my long-history daily data series start with {OHLC all equal} and then go to "real" daily data.

Time for more scrubbing...



Thank you for reminding me about data scrubbing and especially the part about how chicks really dig data scrubbing.

Hopeful Applicants

responding to ad on Craig's List
for a Data Scrubber

Jun 1, 2014

NRH Tribe Report


I don't feel hot on any subject leading up to our tribe meeting that takes place 5/23. My issue around infidelity seems to dissolve in the weeks leading up to the meeting. When I arrive the four members name issues that we may like to work on. Issues range from 'accepting and feeling okay with feeling happy', 'anger that seems to go from 0-100 without much provocation', 'feelings surrounding feeling stuck', and 'feelings of wanting to do and achieve more'. All these issues I identify with.

The member who has feelings 'surrounding feeling stuck' seems hottest. With the help of the tribe he eventually gets into his forms surrounding his feelings. He amplifies his forms and recalls an event where his father incorrectly loads shells so that when tribe member shoots his weapon a cloud of thick black smoke chokes him and others witnessing his shooting laugh at him, all he can do is shut down and do nothing.

We choose not to role play this situation but instead go with fact he still seems hot. He gets into his forms again and this time recalls an earlier incident where he gets stuck on a pipe while crossing a creek. He recalls feeling fear and literally stuck in the middle of pipe unable to move. Later he recalls crossing over the pipe and it feeling easier and easier with each passing trip and even crossing over a fallen tree later as a shortcut when two grown men would not cross possibly out of fear. His way out of feeling stuck seems very simple...put one foot in front of the other and slowly make progress.

At the meeting I notice I feel confused and the desire to role play this event but with only him present in his recollection I do not at that time see a conventional role play, now as I write my experiences I see we may have decided to role play any one of the incidents he recalls and see what proactive resources he can use.

In the second hot seat I go through what seems to resemble the birthing process. I experience a burning sharp pain in left side/back that I amplify and eventually find myself feeling immense pressure around my neck and head. I feel stuck and struggle to get free.

I feel suffocation and the feeling that closely resembles when chlorine water from a swimming pool enters my nose and burns. I recall that I feel drained and that my neck feels heavy.

The feelings of energy drain outweigh my desire to further my process and I decide to end my process for the night and to observe how things play out in following weeks and possibly revisit them.

This week my continuing issue returns. I notice that I go through a similar process as the other person involved in my issue. I find myself more compassionate. I experience a rush of anger that I express with a loud outburst but I find myself open to communication afterwards. I find myself wondering how can I feel sure that the path we take will not lead to me feeling intense hurt, stupid, and embarrassment.

I feel that my desire for an answer may align more with control rather than intimacy. The answer seems clear, at this point I just follow my feelings. My feelings now involve my risk control and I trust that my feelings will also lead me along and guide my path where ever it goes. I notice my reluctance to feel stupid and embarrassment.

The week after tribe meeting I notice a lot of pain in my lower back near my tail bone region. I also notice constant pain in my hips , knees and feet. I wonder how this pain relates to my process and that of my fellow tribe member whose way out of feeling stuck requires putting one foot in front of other which right now causes me physical pain.

Thank you for sharing your process.

The way out of stuck may include putting one foot in front of the other.

The way out of feeling stuck may include establishing rapport and communicating feelings.

You might consider taking your feelings of <energy drain> to Tribe as an entry point.

Lack of Energy

may signal a desire to rest

and / or

reflect a medicinal pattern
of shutting down.
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