The Trading Tribe
(c) Ed Seykota 2003-2011 - Write for permission to reprint.
Ed Seykota's FAQ
Readers Say Ed Says
Thursday, March 10, 2011

Austin Trading Tribe Meeting 03/10/2011


The tribe begins with drumming and some members are downstairs at the time tribe commences. We continue drumming as other tribe members flow into the tribe meeting. After drumming, we check in. The discussion of intentions equal results is discussed again and the circumstances of the tribe members who remain downstairs as the tribe meeting begins is used to illustrate intention equals results again. Several members are not completely clear of the concept. I feel I understand the concept as discussed although at times the term “intention” seems to feel unclear.

Definition of INTENTION (
1: a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
2: import, significance
3 a : what one intends to do or bring about b : the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered
4: a process or manner of healing of incised wounds
5: concept; especially : a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge
6 plural : purpose with respect to marriage
See intention defined for English-language learners »

Examples of INTENTION
1. She announced her intention to run for governor.
2. He seemed to think that I was trying to cause problems, but that was never my intention.
3. He bought a dog with the intention of training it to attack intruders.
4. He has good intentions, but his suggestions aren't really helpful.

From my understanding my intention is the “structure” I create in my life and how that structure resonates to the world around me.

It is a combination of everything I do at this present moment that defines my ability and aptitude for responding to this moment. In the example of the banjo (see previous FAQ), the structure of the banjo includes in totality every molecule or atom of the instrument and how it generates sound and the quality of the sound.

Many unseen and overlooked factors contribute to the phenomenon of sound that the instrument makes including the makeup of all the materials composing the instrument and structurally how they are arranged. In my understanding of “intention”…I am reminded of the phrases- “if you keep doing what your doing, you will keep getting what you got” or “what goes around, comes around” or “you reap what you sow”.

Strangely, I am reminded of the great quote by Joe Kleine, the center for the Arkansas Razorback basketball team of years past. After a narrow loss to an arch rival, Joe told the reporter after the game, “We had ‘em but we just couldn’t get ‘em”…and that is the composite structure of their performance in that moment.

It appears to me that the term “intention” is still confusing somewhat in the framework in which it is used when I notice the confusion in the other tribe members. I notice how it is used in phrases and there seems to be some times it is used as the definition above and sometimes it fits with intention equals structure.

I watch a documentary on jazz music recently and I find similarities in a “jam session” among artists and some components of tribe. In a group of developed musical artists they express much of their feelings musically in how they play…probably more so with jazz artists who are playing and making new music from one moment to the next. In a group they receive the music the others are playing and adjust their composition as the music progresses.

I suppose much of my intention or structure (framework) of my feelings resonates a certain “twang”. Perhaps much of the time we do not hear our own music or parts of it and even if we become aware of some part of our emotional framework that is out of harmony, we seldom inherently know how to tune it right ourselves. We all carry a certain amount of “tuning” that came preset from the factory (family) of origin. Expressing the form resonates the disharmony associated with certain feelings…all of the other tribe though knows the tune and supports the tribe member in retuning.

A tribe member works on a process in which he describes being afraid to ask for help from someone he considers a mentor. As he gets into the form the feeling appears to be shyness, embarrassment or feeling intimidated to ask for help. I notice I have a similar issue. He recounts a situation with his father in which they are both working on the house and his father scolds him repeatedly…shouting and verbally/emotionally abusing him.

The tribe does a reenactment and a surrogate attempts to develop intimacy with his father. The tribe member connects with his father in this process and there is a noticeable difference in his appearance and form after going through the process. I find observing this process very valuable and feel I receive some effect during this process also.
We discuss how a pendulum works. I gain insight as Ed explains how a pendulum works in a slice by slice snapshot of the progression of the pendulum.
Thank you for sharing your process and your insights on "intention."
Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Sound of PI


What does PI sound like?

Is this correct Ed? :)
The repeating "riff" is four bars of eight notes each, or thirty-two notes in all, cycling over and over.

The notes corresponds to the first 32 digits of pi, starting, 3.14159262...

The tune also appears to be a "round"
in which some instruments start at different times and/or use different tempos.

I might guess you could get a similar tune
using this method on any set of 32 numbers.

If you were to play the actual "notes" of pi
on one instrument, without cycling at 32 notes
you might find it much more random.

You might note that you get different notes is you represent PI in another base, say base 2 (binary) base 8 or base 16. 

Since the tune uses eight notes, representing PI in base 8 might make some sense.

Also, the arrangement is in the key of "C"
and therefore contains no sharps or flats
so you have some additional melodic entrainment.

You could also use the first 10 notes, starting with C and going up to A (omitting Bb and B) and get a less melodic sound.

What you hear has a lot to do with the arrangement and relatively little to do with the 32 numbers that represent PI in base 10.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Onerous Work


You say: "If you wish to attract investors, you might consider demonstrating your willingness to serve your clients by performing the "onerous" work for them."

The millisecond after I press the send button I know I will catch h--- for that!

Please review the attached spreadsheet that pairs my actual monthly returns with the hypothetical system returns over the past two years. I believe they match fairly close; you may or may not agree.
Thank you for your demo.

In our Tribe meetings, we take turns presenting our work to each other.

We listen carefully for sincerity, commitment, competence, willingness and caring about the listener.

You might consider taking your feelings about <having to do a lot of work> to Tribe.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

DT - Double Trouble


You reply on FAQ:

“You might consider studying a text book on system dynamics.

Numerical solutions follow Euler's method of recursive solution of a set of integral equations.

In this method, we have no formulations that include terms from "two intervals back" as they are not available in the moment of now.”


I understand the Euler method as an approximation to the exact solution of an integral equation. and the impact the size of Delta T can have on solution accuracy. Since, in practice, Delta T can not go to zero the basic formulation appears to include terms from “one interval back.”

My point, which I appear to be making poorly, is the position formula used in the spreadsheet is based on velocity from one interval back instead of the velocity of the current interval.

From the MIT Roadmaps document D-4426-3, the following formulas are used in the pendulum example:

Position(t) = Position(t - dt) + (Change_in_Position) * dt

Velocity(t) = Velocity(t - dt) + (Change_in_Velocity) * dt

where Change_in_Position equals Velocity.

From my review of the “Pendulum Spreadsheet” Nick sends it appears position calculations use the formula below.

(Note, the actual spreadsheet calculation does not appear to match the formula under “System Equations” in the Pendulum Spreadsheet.)

P(t) = P(t-1) + V(t-1)*dt

Isn’t the position formula in Roadmaps equivalent to the following?

P(t) = P(t-1) + V(t)*dt

If yes, then I am wondering why the difference in the EcoNowMics pendulum model?

In feedback systems, everything depends upon everything. The levels depend directly on the rates and the rates depend directly on the levels.

Regarding the sample at:

you see that

1. Velocity (meters/sec) = Velocity (meters/sec) +
Acceleration (meters/sec2) * dt (sec)

2. Position (meters)
= Position (meters) +
Velocity (meters/sec) * dt (sec)

In (1) velocity is a level or stock and in (2) velocity is a rate or flow.

The implicit equation,
velocity(the rate) = velocity(the level)
does not appear in the equation listing.

In  Euler's method we alternatively solve for all the levels, then the rates, then the levels, then the rates, etc.

In this way, we do not develop second-order chains, such as you mention.

As you reduce the solution interval (dt) the solution converges.  At dt < 1/10 x the smallest time constant, the solution is generally quite good.

These concepts generally appear in texts on system dynamics under simulation methodology.

You might consider taking your feelings about <reading the instruction manual> to Tribe.

Some People Resort to the Instructions

only as a last resort.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Holding Back


Since starting the New Rocks Process with my tribe, I notice I feel an ongoing loosening up within. It's as if various issues are breaking away and revealing themselves : kind of like a colonic irrigation of my psychological and emotional selves !

I think a lot about this Process and notice how, especially when I am the Process Manager, I want to "do it right". I now realize that this is in many ways a developing art form and we learn by doing.

I and others express concern how sometimes Hot Seat, when a strong form is frozen, cannot recollect feeling that way from their youth. One of our tribe members makes an excellent, spontaneous suggestion : that when we come to tribe, we "set" ourselves to be receptive & open to such insights when on the HS. Some of us feel this is a great suggestion; others cannot relate to it. In any event, continuing with "regular" TTP in the absence of any recollection with which to role play remains effective and if that's what Hot Seat presents, that's what we work with.

At our last meeting, as part of this "loosening" of issues, I tell the tribe that I am surprised to feel that I have an issue around "Entitlement" that is holding me back. Although I am relatively successful in my business life, I notice hesitation in stating the financial goals that I really want.

An FAQ post a few weeks back in which the poster states a 2011 target for making at least $800k hits me as I feel unable to set such a target for myself. However, I do want to set a target for making a least €100k per quarter this year (I only ever reach 100k in a quarter twice before and never more than once in a calendar year).

The Hot Seat begins and as usual I rapidly develop forms. When the form is frozen, there is a clear memory which has come up once before. I am 9 years old and see my name on the team list for the Under 11 soccer team for the first team; however, my older brother, who is very asthmatic, is only just 11 and therefore qualifies for the team as he was under 11 at the start of term and the list does not specify which one of us is selected.

I go to the sports master who confirms it's me and I am overjoyed. When I get home, neither my mother nor brother are there and I wait in the first floor (2nd floor in US-speak) living room with great excitement to tell them.

Eventually, I hear the front door opening and rush down the stairs shouting out my news... I see two shocked faces carrying shopping bags looking up at me. My brother has come home earlier thinking he has been selected, also for the first time, and my mother has taken him out to buy new football boots in celebration.

I feel terrible. PM asks if I want to role play the scene - it's a perfect scene to role play - but I don't want to : I'm in some kind of trance, feeling very connected to my brother and the scene is changing. Now, it's 36 years later and I'm standing at the end of his bed in a darkened hospital room. He's died about an hour earlier from complications relating to his lifelong asthma.

I'm feeling overwhelming sorrow. but also completely close and connected to him. I'm asked if want to role play this, but no, I don't, I just want to stay in the space and my tribe supports this. Eventually, the Hot Seat ends ad I feel very expanded and vulnerable, but in a way which feels wholly appropriate. I feel a very strong and loving connection with my brother and it feels OK not to worry about Entitlement because of his difficulties.

So in this case, we do not role play a situation that I feel is perfect to role play and yet this is 100% OK with me. In the check out PM expresses concern about handling the HS well : I just say I feel completely supported, cared for and happy with the process. This teaches me not to be too fixed about the direction a HS "should" take.

At the time of writing this post I notice I am 90% towards reaching my Q1 target.
Thank you for sharing your process.

In the TTP Rocks Process, we investigate dramas to locate a perpetrator and also a rock donor - someone who teaches you the response pattern or "rock."

In my Tribe meetings, all participants agree to take the hot seat and work full-out to engage the process: and to learn and to practice using new responses.

In the case of someone whose pattern is to hold  back, I generally challenge them before engaging the process to determine if they are willing to fully engage.

If they are unwilling, I invite them to leave the Tribe.

One Positive Intention of Hesitation

is risk management.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Universal Parameters

Dear Ed,

I am wondering whether you would use different parameters for each instrument, e.g.. SR 120/50 for A as vs. 250/120 for B?

If trading is based on psychology of people's emotions, would there not be a universal parameter for all instruments whether optimal or not?

The only computer that is powerful enough to run an accurate simulation model of the world is the world itself - and it indeed generates its own solution as it goes along.

All other models are enormous simplifications and are, by nature, wrong.  Some of them, like the SR model you cite, may be useful.

You might consider taking your feelings about <wanting to understand everything> to Tribe.


is a poor substitute for intimacy.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tribe Assignment - Explain How A Pendulum Works


I look at Nick’s work on Ed’s Website as well as Diana Fisher’s material in her book, Lessons in Mathematics: A Dynamic Approach. The iThink diagrams below are from Diana Fisher’s models.

I am not sure how a pendulum works. I feel encouraged to learn more trigonometry. Below is where I’m at in my understanding.

A pendulum is a second order negative feedback system. It is a second order system, which is a shorthand way of saying that it is a system that contains two stocks. In this case the two stocks are Velocity and Position. Interestingly, velocity is both a stock (Velocity) and a flow (velocity). It is a negative feedback system because it contains a balancing loop that is always trying to bring the position of the pendulum back to its equilibrium position.

The further away from equilibrium the mass of the pendulum is, the stronger the force works to move the mass back to its equilibrium position. So as the pendulum swings further away from equilibrium, its position increases less and less rapidly. The resulting pattern of the position of the pendulum from equilibrium resembles a chart pattern called a pennant pattern.
Thank you for sharing your explanation.

In my experience, few people can explain how a pendulum works; many claim they can explain how the economy works.

You might consider tightening up your explanation, per:

Your predicate (further away -> stronger force) is not necessary to explain the result (position increases less and less rapidly).

In fact, any force is sufficient to decelerate the bob; whether or not the force is increasing or decreasing is irrelevant, per your sentence.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tribe Report - Reality and Illusion


Listening to our recent guest talk and feeling the emotions behind his words is comforting yet surreal. It’s rare that I am in the company of someone who is both humble and fearless. His willingness to feel, to share, and to remain present both inwardly and outwardly is so very special, as is he. Ed and our guest share looks and their eyes literally sparkle with shared intimacy. They don’t need to say anything. Words probably just get in the way. They feel each other.

If you can meet with triumph and disaster
and treat those two imposters just the same…

Our guest is not just a guest, he is part of the tribe, and he doesn’t just read lines from Kipling—he lives them—both inwardly and outwardly. What an extraordinary man. I am humbled to learn from his example of being present.

What is real? What is illusion? I try to put them in a box. Then I end up switching the boxes. It doesn’t work.

Reality and illusion; triumph and disaster.

One informs the other.

Now, I don’t try to put them in a box. I treat them just the same…

Thank you, Ed, Tribe, and special guest.
Thank you for sharing your process.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Secret Fears of the Super-Rich -
Magazine - The Atlantic


This article reinforces a point made by Michael Marcus when he visited the Austin Tribe Series:
Thank you for the URL.

You might consider identifying the point and what it means to you.

You might consider taking your feelings about <revealing your emotions> to Tribe.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Practicing Intimacy

Hello Ed,

I have had so many insights in the last meeting and during the last 2 weeks that it is difficult to decide where to start. I guess that lacking any other idea the beginning seems to be the best place.

I was very sad and frustrated at the end of the meeting. I had a really big problem in my family and I wanted to work on in but somehow I couldn't, I wonder if it was my intention not to. During [Name]'s work I had feelings of sadness contemplating Control Centric dynamics. I was sad because I realized that my need to control is really powerful and has been screwing certain aspects of my life.

My Dad had a very nasty argument with one of my brothers where ugly phrases were said. I understand both, and I would like them to solve their problems through intimacy instead of arguing in a senseless way.

As it is common in these cases I immediately run to "fix" the problem, my solution is to "punish" my Dad for saying something to my brother that makes me feel sad, so I told him I won't be speaking to him until he apologizes (which I know is not going to happen).

After a couple of days I tried to talk to him and engage in intimacy, he shares his feelings and I am happy, but suddenly he switches to full blown "blaming mode" which makes me angry again, we ended up very angry with each other.

I have a serious trouble understanding that the intimacy model consists in receiving no matter what, it is very frustrating, I will like to work on it. But this is the funny thing: a week after the incident they are talking again and they seem to be in better terms (without any sort of intervention from me). I wonder if by trying to fix things I am just increasing the problem, I feel like a politician bailing out a bank, I believe the system / intimacy model works a lot better.

I also met an extraordinary girl, we get along really well and I am really surprised how good she makes me feel. I am happy to announce that I am very conscious of my incredible controlling tendencies and I am really avoiding all kinds of comments and actions that could lead me towards the control model. I notice she has a serious eating disorder and I want to "fix it" right away, however I refrain from saying anything that may indicate that I want to control her, I am happy that I do this and that the result is wonderful intimacy. However I would like to know how I can truly help people while avoiding control.

I also noticed that when I tried to engage in intimacy she asks me if "You are doing that thing you learn in Austin" and if I am just engaging in psychotherapy, I recall hearing similar experiences from fellow tribe member and their significant others, I wonder if there is a way to engage in intimacy without obvious sounding phrases like "tell me how you feel" and "thank you for telling me that", I get the feeling that some of these phrases freak some people out.

I wonder if you will tell me I might want to bring my feelings about using a lot of "" to tribe.....

Looking forward to see you in Austin.
Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider taking your feelings about <your father and brother fighting> to Tribe.

Fathers and Sons


in lots of ways.

Fathers and Sons


in different ways.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Onerous Work


Thank you for your response. I have attached several files for your review. My system(s) evolve over time as I implement subtle modifications after thorough research.

Therefore, the further back you look the more the hypothetical results will vary from my actual. As early as January I made a slight tweak that required adjusting current position sizes.

I always follow my [at the time current] system(s). I have made a few minor trade errors over the years that were quickly corrected, but aside from that I have never missed a system trade or put on a discretionary trade.

I manage a separate account for one other investor who is a very active discretionary stock trader. He is very familiar with me and my system(s) and would likely attest to the fact that I would never dare make a discretionary trade. I'm personally just not wired to do it.

Reconciling the data in these files could be onerous. Let me know if I can help you or if you have any questions or comments.

I appreciate your time and input,
If you wish to attract investors, you might consider demonstrating your willingness to serve your clients by performing the "onerous" work for them.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Information Revealed

Hi Ed

I notice participants names appear on the Breathwork page.

I believe it is not your policy to reveal identities so I thought I should point it out to you.

Also, I find your lab book page, I don’t know how, but as I sit down, something makes me type in the address as if my fingers do so unconsciously, I go with it and the lab book appears.

I thought I should let you know, in case your CM want to remove the availability of access to this page from the general public.

With the benefit of hindsight, the address is a fairly simple guess.

“intentions =results”

I reveal that I have found this page, to allow you, to change your intentions, if you desire to do so.

I don’t want to offended you or make you angry.

I feel strong loyalty towards you, especially since I notice how hard you work, and how freely you share your wisdom and time.

I feel honored to be able to learn from you and experience some of your wisdom.

I would like to attend a workshop when you next schedule one.

Kindest Regards,
Thank you for the catch on the Breathwork page.

Thank you for protecting my privacy.

My Fractal Geometry lab book, appears on the resources page, above.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

TSP segment update

Dear Ed,

I have noticed that from April 2006 there is no update in Trading system project(TSP) segment on your website, I wonder why is that?

i loved all the pages in that segment...But still there are many interesting topic which we all would like to read on....
I wish u finish all the links...and that would be really helpful for all the people.
I wonder if you might like to extend the work by completing the segment.
Monday, March 7, 2011

Seeking The Trap

Dear Ed,

I realize now that my suffering / smoldering anxiety due to flying was a result of my unconscious intention to feel situationally trapped. Since I have dealt with my fear of flight directly and the anxiety has mostly melted away my intention (the universe?) has found a new way to deliver a problem in order to get the same results of being trapped and stuck in a impossibly bleak situation.

I can see how I’m repeating my childhood situation even though I’m an adult and the environment is completely different now. The result simply must manifest from my internal structure so somehow situations appear to make sure I get the pain I’m structured to receive.

Its odd to understand this but still be trapped inside the framework with no clear path out. There again I am trapped. Perhaps the understanding of my perpetually trapped results while being trapped inside my current intention/structure is the final trap. If making your unconscious intention conscious is the key to changing your intention then I am on my way.
Thank you for sharing your process.

Venus Fly Trap

The trap closes
on the second tickle

so it avoids getting a whipsaw
on a random piece of debris.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Impulse Control

Dear Ed -

I did some work with you on my impulse control issues when I am trading. Due to the work I have been doing, I have learned to be able to feel pain instead of avoiding it. I am still working on being able to feel euphoria instead of getting lost in it - that seems to be harder.

This week I came to realize that I create my own problems. When it comes to trading I setup my trading plan to overwhelm my sensory capabilities with too many signals, strategies, timeframes and opinions. This information overload is an underlying cause of my impulsiveness.

As a result I've decided to eliminate day trading from my business plan. In addition, I've also decided to eliminate counter trend trading. My own history shows that I've made the most profits in a few strong trends over weeks/months. I've lost money consistently trying to pick or anticipate tops/bottoms. In addition, trying to pick tops/bottoms results in getting out of profitable trend trades too early.

My revised business plan is to keep reducing sensory input, trade longer timeframes and find the best trending stocks/futures using weekly and daily timeframes only.
thank you for sharing your process - and for your insights on quitting day-trading.
Monday, March 7, 2011


I find my intentions by looking at my results. My intentions now are to fly way under the radar and avoid standing out.
I have a tendency to go unnoticed. I do not feel comfortable in a group of people. I feel like an outsider. My intention
must be to do it myself and not ask for help or bother people when I get stuck. I say I desire to be very successful but
my actions do not line up with this desire.

What I intend to accomplish during the Breathwork weekend is to feel comfortable in group settings and develop the ability to network and collaborate with other people on projects. I also intend to be good with asking for help on projects where I get stopped. I intend to feel good about people noticing me. I complete my goals and enjoy my successes.
thank you for sharing your process.
Monday, March 7, 2011

On Time


I arrive for the tribe meeting early. I notice no feelings of anxiety, stress or an adrenaline rush from leaving at a point in time to arrive at the meeting with generally plenty of time. I notice if I feel anxiety or worry about going to the tribe meeting, or feeling some sense of dread about confronting certain feelings or feelings related to some previous event in my life, that there is the propensity to avoid going until the last possible moment. The feeling of time, like some giant wall of concrete behind me, slowly up against my back, nudging me forward to face what I fear or what I seek to avoid. Perhaps even the avoidance of disclosing myself is in play, a deep feeling of shame, that if I let anyone too close that rejection will follow.

During check in Ed clarifies the issue of intentions equal results in regards to the system model vs. the causal model. I want to explain, as I understand, how intention equals result. First, the word intention, in reference to the system model, does not denote or characterize some sort of feeling or invisible power that is used to affect the future. The word seems to me to be an acknowledgement of myself in this present moment of now living in the “structure” that is my personal system of life. Much of this structure is perhaps operating in the subconscious mind but as I acknowledge and connect with my feelings I catch glimpses of the structure…and opportunities to change the intention.

A tribe member brings a situation to tribe in which he feels snarled. He wants out of a business relationship but the snarly feeling gets him snarled up when he wants to confront the situation. We attempt a drama and another member agrees to play the role of the business partner. He plays the role well. The tribe member gets all snarled up trying to negotiate closure of the relationship. Another tribe member attempts to play the role of the tribe member and gets snarled also. I notice the feeling of being snarled myself and I am reminded of many snarly situations during times of my life. Finally Ed volunteers to play the role of the tribe member and plays the role without any snarliness at all…completely snarlless. The situation is resolved quickly and efficiently. After observing Ed play the role the tribe member is able to confront the situation completely snarlless also. I find the process very enlightening and find benefit in observing this process.

We have a visiting trader…Michael Marcus, whom I find very fascinating. I feel the excitement all evening as all the tribe members are awaiting his arrival and the opportunity to ask questions and interact with Michael. The conversation goes many directions but I am impressed with his combination of intensity and humility. The discussion focuses a lot of discretionary trading and how he approaches the markets when trading actively. I really enjoy hearing stories about the early years when Ed and Michael are working on trading together.
Thank you for sharing your process.
Monday, March 7, 2011

Intentions, Results and Crashes


At the last “educational” portion of the tribe meeting Ed explains the differences between Causal model and System model in greater detail.

What brings even more clarity and understanding is Ed’s use of the word Structure as another way to say Intention and the word Behavior as another way to define Result. Indeed Structure = Behavior brings additional clarity to my understanding of the system model.

I somehow always struggled with the situation of a crashing airplane. I always found it fascinating that the people who board the airplane which later crashes all have the intention to die. With the new words in place I now understand this differently. I understand that airplanes sometimes fall and if I decide to fly; the chance of being in an airplane accident is part of the system, it is part of its structure thus the intention. If I wish to fly but still stay as safe as possible I may go a step further and investigate the airline industry and fly only with airlines with the best track records; thus improving my odds of flying safely and improving my structure.

After a short break, a tribe member brings a recent issue of making decisions to the hot seat. He describes a situation with his business partner. His business partner uses tactics of deflecting him, manipulation and skillful ... attorney language to keep control of the business. The member feels that he is indecisive. He wonders if he should quit the relationship, or continue trying to improve his position as a business partner.

Ed serves as the process manager and questions the tribe member’s motivations. After a few quick questions it becomes clear that the member does not have an issue making decisions. He knows that he wants to get out of the partnership. His issue is that he is afraid to anger his business partner ...

The Tribe role plays the situation with tribe member. He does his best explaining to his business partner that he is not happy with the current situation they have. The discussion goes nowhere. There are a couple of other tribe members taking the role without any luck. Ed takes the role now.

Ed’s approach is very direct. He understands what he wants. He wants out. He understands how to get out (dissolving the partnership company) so he does it. He is not coming to argue, explain or discuss this with the business partner. He comes and tells him “Look I am out. I dissolved the company, it is a done deal. What can I do to help you transition?” Once the member with the issue hears that, he turns red. He cannot believe that he can ever say this to his powerful partner. During the checkout process the Tribe goes back and forth on wondering if the member can even do it. The member says in his checkout “He is going to sue me.”

Once things settle, Ed asks the member if he is willing to try this and he is. The member does the role play a few times until he is very convincing and seems to be empowered.

What I learned from the process is that the intention is always going to equal the result. If the member is going to talk to his partner with the fear of getting sued, unsure of himself, he may get sued. On the other hand, if he is going to focus on what he desires to do, which is running his own business and truly offering the former business partner transition, this is what is going to happen for him. He may even say the exact same words in both cases.

One last thing I would like to mention is the Tribe members check-out. He is missing from the last meeting and leaves early this meeting.

He thanks several members for the valuable input he got from reading their posts on FAQ’s. The way he says it is so sincere, present, he truly means it. What a powerful example of using intimacy model. Thank you.

On the Project portion of our meeting I notice many members receiving a no-pass on the progress of their projects. Even though I receive a pass from most of the members I receive a no-pass from Ed. This gives me huge motivation to work on my project. Thank you for your no-pass Ed.

I would also like to thank the tribe members who have more experience on running a business for sharing their knowledge with me, patiently answering my questions and phone calls. Thank you.

Thank you everybody for allowing me to learn from you.

Thank you for sharing your process.
Monday, March 7, 2011

To Commit or Not to Commit

Dear Ed,

At our last Tribe Meeting on February 24, I report to the tribe that I complete my task of increasing my portfolio heat; specifically, I increase my portfolio heat by 50% and implement it on all current positions. In contrast to the prior tribe meeting, this time when we go through our pass / fail exercise I get a unanimous pass from the tribe. I feel proud of my accomplishment, and also feel a sense of joy and relief.

As the tribe meeting progresses I report on a new drama which appears to be unfolding. After I increase my portfolio heat the Monday prior to the tribe meeting, I immediately begin to struggle with the decision of whether to buy additional gold and silver bullion. Gold and silver prices are rising quickly, and I hesitate to purchase. I notice feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and regret as I debate whether to make the purchase. In short, I agonize over the decision. As I report this new drama to the tribe, I can't help but notice the similarities with my prior drama of not being able to increase my portfolio heat. It seems that I have a need to experience feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and regret, and that when I face a decision I use that opportunity to experience those feelings.

I notice that throughout my life I experience a series of agonizing decisions in which I experience those feelings writ large. In high school I agonize for months over which school to attend, alternating between high schools for the first month of the school year. Later in life I agonize for two years over whether to marry my wife, almost losing the relationship in the process. More recently, I agonize over an important business relationship. It appears that I intentionally linger in decisions so that I can experience feelings of agony, uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. Interestingly, I cannot help but notice that my mother has the exact same pattern. She spends much of her life agonizing over various decisions, which seem to ensnarl her for years. I also notice my daughter beginning to struggle with decisions. I feel very sad about this.

As I report these observations to the tribe I feel angry. As I note in the prior tribe meeting, I do not want to stay where I am in life. I want to grow into the fullest person I can be. I want to be free. I want to learn. I do not want any more snarls in my life. I do not want my children to experience life as a series of agonizing decisions.

Later in the tribe meeting I take the hot seat about another snarl with which I am struggling; specifically, I am struggling to clarify an important business relationship. With the support of the tribe, I role play a meeting with a business associate and struggle immensely with clarifying the relationship. However, after I watch other tribe members act out my role and clarify the relationship, I see how easy it can be to make decisions. After watching them, I role play the meeting again. This time I am able to clarify the relationship. Afterward, I feel a burgeoning sense of freedom, strength, and maturity. I also feel myself breathing more freely.

When I return home from the tribe meeting I make my purchase of gold and silver. I also take a series of concrete steps toward clarifying my business relationship. When I do these things I notice growing feelings of excitement, strength, and confidence. These are new feelings which I really enjoy. Interestingly, as I make progress on these snarls I notice myself beginning to agonize over a smaller decision - my travel schedule. There I go again. It seems as though I am a walking piece of Velcro! This time, I allow the feelings to come and go and simply allow the schedule to evolve on its own. As I do this I notice that I become irritable with my family members, and lose my patience with my children on several occasions. I also find myself eating poorly. Eventually the travel plans come together and the feelings subside.

When I return to tribe I plan to continue the process of appreciating the feeling of "agonizing over decisions."

Thank you, and the rest of the tribe, for supporting my process.
Thank you for sharing your process.
Monday, March 7, 2011

Tips From a Pro


The meeting convenes with check-ins and anticipation of a special visitor, Ed's friend and colleague from their days together at Hayden Stone brokerage, Michael Marcus.

Ed remarks on the system model and the causal model. Within the Intentions=Results framework each person has their system - which is what produces the results. Declare that intentions equals results, take responsibility for the results you are getting. If you want to change the results you are getting you examine the system, or the structure you have created which produces the results. Think of how you would create a system to produce the results you are getting, and once you have a system that models well the results you are producing, try tweaking the system or the parameters which feed it to produce the results you desire. Translate your intentions into the system which produces the results.

"responsible" - A better word to describe an individual's relationship to the results he is getting is "respond-able" - able to respond and adapt to make the system produce the results he desires.

We break for dinner, and after dinner the featured guest arrives, and gives an extended talk about his life as a trader, the early days of developing his trading style, and what his talents regarding the market are. Some points which stuck with me:

+ If you get on a position, and ride it higher and decide that it has gone up as far as it is going to go and you get out - you have to accept that you decision to exit the position may be wrong, and be willing if the market continues higher to jump back in. You must be willing to buy it higher, and admit the mistake in getting out too soon.

+ attributed his success to an ability to read the psychology of the crowd, and he developed an intuition about how the market "should" respond to news. He became adept and sensing when the market's reaction to news was not in accord with his intuitive model: "If the market didn't do what I thought it should do, then I would get really interested."

+ recited Kipling's poem "If" - "If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you..", having seen it written on a wall at Wimbledon.

+ Fundamental trading can wreck your life if you don't pay attention to the technicals. Why exclude any data that is available to you?

+ Evolution of the markets - it rewards participants who consistently make the best decisions, so the best traders end up making the biggest trades

+ Money doesn't bring happiness.

+ Meaning of the universe: Life's struggles and sufferings are an illusion, there is a God, challenges are given by God to give us growth - like an initiation - it brings us to a new level of maturity and relationship. Began as an atheist.

+ If you could restrict your trading to just those times that your signal is clear, and throw away all the less promising ones, you will astound yourself

+ Cockiness leads to bad trades

+ Discipline is related to a strong spiritual belief - discipline has a spiritual component

+ Mentor Amos Hostetter - would say, when he was bullish in a market and the market doesn't act in a bullish way "I am gonna apologize for the market not going higher." Would do the same thing the next day if it continued to misbehave. On the third day he stopped apologizing.

After the visitor finished answering questions of the tribe members, he departed, and we took a break.

The tribe meeting continued with a member taking the hot seat with a feeling of being snarled in a business relationship with a partner with whom he desired to sever the relationship. The process involved a role-playing exercise where first the snarled member dramatized a meeting with his partner where he was determined to end the partnership. The result was two likely outcomes which would result in the member not getting untangled from the situation - a continuation of snarled-ness.

Then, several members playing the role of the snarled member, trying to improve the results of the meeting using variations on the approach. Ed cuts to the chase in modeling the snarled member by being direct and clear about his intention. After some initial and fruitless attempts to build rapport and intimacy with the partner, he says "I have decided that the partnership is dissolved - it is done. I am here to let you know that I would like to help you make the transition to running the business venture without me." The snarled member was able to model this approach and appeared to realize a new approach to getting unsnarled which had a chance of working, if getting unsnarled is really what he wanted to do. The desire to be unsnarled is significant - Ed says that being snarled is what the member intends, and so that is the result.
Thank you for sharing your process.
Sunday, March 6, 2011

Clearing Snarls and Receiving a Check

Dear Ed,

I enjoy the discussion about causal and system models on the last tribe meeting. The way I understand it is that in the system model we have that Intentions = Results. From a system dynamics perspective, we have that Structure = Behavior. I do not think I can directly see my intentions. I can see my intentions from my results. If I want to change my results, I can work on my intentions (or structure). In order for me to do this, I need to accept first that my intentions equal my results. I find these concepts powerful and extremely useful. I wonder what the role of passion or burning desire is in my personal structure. I see it as something that gives me the motivation to arrange my structure in a way to get the results I wish.

We also have a world famous trader as a guest. Our guest trader talks about trading, forgiveness, mistakes, etc. I really enjoy listening to him.

On this meeting a tribe member takes to the hot seat his issue of not being able to execute decisions. The tribe member wants to end a contract with a powerful and controlling person. He wants to end the contract in a polite and professional way. However, you rarely end contracts this way ... We start role playing. A tribe member role plays the powerful person. Hot seat tries to end the contract. He cannot end the contract. He leaves the meeting saying that he plans to think about it one more time. Then, two tribe members take hot seat place and try to end the contract. They cannot end the contract either. The tribe member who role plays the powerful [person] does a great job. He keeps saying, this is a breach of contract, I trust you, think about it, etc. Then Ed takes the hot seat place. Ed is able to end the contract in a decisive way. Finally, hot seat takes his original role. This time, I notice a difference on hot seat´s body posture. He is able to end the contract in a decisive way.

Somehow I relate to this hot seat. Sometimes I have difficulty asking for what I really want. Last week I have an opportunity to try this with a company who owes me money. The company changes the payment dates a couple of times. Last week the person in charge tells me that based on their policy, they now plan to pay me the following week. She also asks me if this is problem with me. My immediate response is “Yes, this is a problem for me. I appreciate if you can pay me sooner”. I notice that my initial response is decisive, but then I change to sound flexible and polite. I also notice that my physical reaction is to blush. I feel hot. In any case, the company sends me the check the following day.

Best Regards,
Thank you for sharing your process.
Sunday, March 6, 2011

Intentions and Results and Pleasure

Dear Ed and Austin Tribe:

Our meeting begins with a clarifying conversation about Intentions and Results. I gain a deeper degree of understanding: the Intention is the Structure, the Behavior is the Result. The Intention is not a wish, a hope, or a promise and has nothing to do with fault. The effect of this conversation is that it depersonalizes my results from me. It detaches and gives me a perspective as a third party observer outside myself watching my own behavior and system. I realize I hold a notion of fault and what I’m describing is a release of fault. This release seems to contribute to clearer observation of Intentions and Results. It becomes a virtuous cycle.

Thank you, Ed, for your comment to a previous FAQ post of mine.

Interruptions & Rejections:

You say, “You might consider your payoff in eliciting rejection.” The Intentions=Results conversation is helpful in seeing what I’m doing rather than wearing the rejection.

I gain a wider acceptance of feelings. Willingness to experience all the feelings is key to getting what I want. Whatever my path is, whatever my goal may be, on the ride I may encounter joy, anger, sadness, embarrassment, aloneness, greed, happiness, ease. Openness and willingness to experience all this is how I stay on the path rather than these feelings being things that knock me off the path.

I don’t know where this feeling comes from but I have an AHA! that I am a pleasure delayer. Perhaps drama is what I use to delay pleasure. Maybe I have fear that pleasure won’t be as good as I hope so my intention is to never get there. Maybe I enjoy never getting there. It is my goal to release this pattern and deal with whatever feelings come up.

I notice a theme of chaos and out of control running through our meetings. Ed phrases it as hanging out in the puzzle. I have feelings of detachment from control and acceptance and this feels like growth. I also notice fear of letting go because something “bad” could happen if I “let things get out of control.” Don’t tell me my worrying doesn’t work, nothing I worry about ever happens. I have an AHA! The insight is to apply the positive intention of the fear or worry to the process, not the result. My system is engineered with a result in mind. Yet, ironically, better results seem to come from conscious focus on the process, not the result. This AHA! helps me remain conscious and attentive to the process while embracing that things are out of control. Perhaps another way of saying all of this is, “Stick to the system.” It is remarkable to me how many roads lead back to the principle of “Stick to the system.” Very cool. This is growth for me. Thank you, Ed and the Austin Tribe.

Thank you for sharing your process.
Sunday, March 6, 2011 6:03 PM

Austin Tribe Meeting

Hey Ed,

Got stopped out of my CL short this evening at 105.58, I guess the media's spin of a protracted Libyan civil war is giving oil a little more news juice.

That was my 2nd try so I lost my 1% and according to my system I am not allowed to short it again(so I'm pretty sure its going straight down from here...)

I'm watching my son all day tomorrow, but I'm hoping to call you soon thereafter to talk about stuff.

all the best,
Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider taking your feelings about <shorting the top> to Tribe.
Sunday, March 6, 2011

Austin Tribe Series Report: Decisiveness

Members of the Austin Tribe,

I exercise decisiveness in pursuit of my snapshot.

My decisiveness is inspired directly by last meeting’s role play exercise of severing a partnership.

Up to this point, I have worked for an amicable and cooperative separation.

I did not want an adversarial separation.

This work was successful, but had reached a point where I was unwilling to pull the trigger.

I now act decisively to achieve the goal regardless of future characteristics that might pop up.

The goal is too important to wane on.

It then becomes clear my partner is very willing to follow my lead, and by being indecisive I was only supporting uncertainty.

I thank you for your support.
Thank you for sharing your process and for resolving your situation.
Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Jabberwocky

Dear Ed

I read the Jabberwocky poem by Lewis Carroll to my children. It's not the first time I have heard it, but I experience great enjoyment reading it to the children, they listen captivated.

None of us really understand the poem, except that the Jabberwocky is a fierce and dangerous beast and is killed by someone with a "vorpal sword". I later read the translation from: 

and learn with great interest that the word "chortle" seems to have been invented by Carroll in this poem.

A few days pass. This morning it is raining and we have nothing to do. We decide to play a game. I get the children to dress me up as a Jabberwocky. They all join in and amongst other things, they give me an underwear hat, with socks for ears as well as tie a tail on behind me.
I chase them around the house and tickle them till I am puffed out. I really enjoy myself and we have great fun.

Attached is a photo of a Jabberwocky and his family.
Thank you for your influence, the poem and the ideas.

The Jabberwocky

with associate wockies.

Thank you for sharing your process and for connecting with your kids.
Saturday, March 5, 2011

Triumph and Disaster: Two Impostors

Dear Ed,

Meeting with Famous Trader at our last Tribe Meeting is a wonderful experience for me. Thank you for arranging for him to speak with us.

Famous Trader's trading accomplishments are certainly impressive, but it is his humility and candor as he explains his current financial dilemma that I find most inspiring about him. It is apropos that he uses Kipling’s “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same;” to elucidate the lesson of his present difficulty, especially as it pertains to trading. Trading seems to provide a great metaphor for much of the human experience.

These are a few of my thoughts following our meeting: Monetary and material wealth are fragile; character and ability are robust. Although making money is virtuous in my eyes, it does not define a man’s success nearly as well as his character and the amount of love in his life.

I’m very much looking forward to our next meeting.
Thank you for sharing your process.
Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hat on Fire

I see you got yourself a hat. I figure Texas has SOME sunny days, so cancer prevention should be a concern. And from what I read in the news about Texas, the question might be ... Is the hat fireproof?

I have found the discussion about the meaning of "intention" to be invaluable. Thanks to the participants who share on this topic.
Thank you for your encouragement.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fun With Son


My son (6 years old) starts speaking in a funny way. As I wait for him to brush his teeth, he starts again.

“Dadde, I ton´t waan to goo to bed. Aaam not tirt yet”.

I face several options:

1. To listen

2. To tell him what to do: “Don´t talk this way” or its variants “stop doing that/it is silly/you are old enough”.

3. To tell him “When you talk that way, I cannot understand you, it makes me feel confused”.

4. Just saying “AAAma gacka taaata pooorpu, diddddo tuuutro popppó ttooot”.

I do 4. He starts laughing loud and says, in perfect German “Daddy, I don´t talk that silly!!”. After that, he keeps on talking clearly.

Just being one with them…

I just wanted to share this observation with you and the FAQ readers.

Thank you for sharing your process and for the example of connecting with your son.
Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feeling Sad


I just finished reading the FAQ and I am a little sad. For I have enjoyed the constant stream of stimulating posts.

While reading the FAQ I wrote may money and risk management methods. Now I must work on my entry signal and potential trade filters.

Thank you for sharing so much.
Thank you for sharing your process.

Sad often associates with loss and / or potential loss; feeling  sadness is consistent with working on risk management issues.
Thursday, March 3, 2011

Decisive Decisions

Dear Ed,

A sender relates how you do "a great job of showing everyone how to make a decisive decision" in a FAQ post dated February 27, 2011.

I am interested in learning more and wonder if you might share how you demonstrate this.

I recall feeling some difficulty with making decisive decisions - taking a long time to decide and then often leaving myself a way out. I recall feeling no difficulty in making impulsive decisions.

I wonder how a decisive decision, commitment, and surrender might be related.

Warm regards,
I do demonstrations during Tribe meetings and at Workshops.

You might consider taking your feelings about <making decisions> to Tribe.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tribe Rejection


First, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to speak with me a few weeks ago.

Since we spoke and you told me the tribe was full and I would not be able to join I felt rejected and cheated.

The feeling of being cheated I think was from spending the 125 to purchase the book, putting in the work, and then not being able to have an opportunity to join the tribe in Austin.

Since then I have avoided the site (defense mechanism?) and have not picked up your book. Also, I have had some of my worst trading days since that day. Seriously, I went back and checked. I just didn't recognize till today, but I kept getting stopped out almost to the penny then have the stock go in the direction without me. I felt cheated over and over. My mood last month was also very pessimistic and affecting others around me.

I really just recognized it. I was reading Emotional Intelligence and it just popped in my head. Maybe just recognizing my feelings and accepting them will help me improve.

I realize that you were successful trader before you came up with TT. I was wondering if there was work / methods you used to help you deal with FRED? Example Breath-work, Meditation, books. I am looking for any opportunity to improve myself.

Thank you,
The Austin Tribe is a developmental group comprising people with Workshop experience who commit to moving the work forward. 

They have workshop experience and a willingness to participate fully.

You can find Tribes in other places and / or start one of your own.

You can find methods and reports of people using methods in the FAQ pages.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Missing Page

Dear Ed,

I cannot find the FAQs from March 1-7, 2010. The page March 1-14 starts with funny signs and the first report is from March 8.

Best regards,
Thank you for the catch.

I am currently researching the situation.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

TTP is powerful!

Dear Ed,

It has been almost a year from the time I attended your TTP workshop @ Reno.

During this time, I had several opportunities to put some, if not all of the technologies that I had learnt there. In the process I have developed greater respect for the technology.

When I analyze the TTP framework, many of the component activities, look kind of trite or even corny on their own. The support group, for example. However, now I am starting to appreciate the thought that has gone in to the technology.

Humans resist change, even change for the better. Often times, the process of change towards betterment is a lonely and frustrating endeavor.

Say, like an alcoholic trying to give up on his addiction. In such cases, in real life, there is a great value in having a non-judgmental support network. May be it is the only way to get out of addiction.

Similarly, the rock process and the others.

I would like to thank you for your kindness and for showing the path to right livelihood. I am quite confident that the tiny wavelets that you send out to the world will cause large ripples over a period of time.

I also wonder how TTP can be made available to more people. The TTP book is clear and lucid, but it is nothing compared to attending a workshop.

Take care.
Thank you for your encouragement.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Intention for Relationship with Son-In-Law

Dear Ed,

Here is a email thread with my son-in-law. In the past I would have gotten angry and this thing would have spiraled out of control in my very complex and highly dysfunctional family and resulted in various family members not talking for months. This happened after I responded how I felt about a highly emotionally charged situation that another family member brought up.

Son in Law: Wow – your grandkids? For someone aspiring to be the Dali lama, this is the most small minded email I’ve ever seen from you.

Me: Thank you for letting me know what you feel. Can you explain further? I am puzzled by your email. Also, I am not clear why you think I am aspiring to be the DL. Please
enlighten me on this :)

Son in Law: Puzzled by wanting to be the DL? Ha! If you went back and re read every email you sent for the past year, I’d be willing to bet that 90% are imparting “wisdom” that you learned at a seminar or class, etc. How much did you pay out in the bet that you wouldn’t offer advice? No exes, but you still take advantage of clinical case like your wife's ex? You may be educated, but you’re still just a dumbass.

Me: Thanks for letting me know how you feel. However I am not sure what you are feeling so upset about. Please let me know what is upsetting you.

Son-in-Law: Not upset, just responding to the email I was cc'd on.

Me: Ok - but you used some words that I would normally associate with some level of being upset. I would sincerely like to know if something in the email affected you and why it did and what could I have done differently.

Son-in-law: No, I’m content with calling you a dumbass and then you thanking me for it.

Me: Glad you are content.
Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider eliminating the words {why, what and but} from your conversational vocabulary and replacing with {I wonder how you feel (and) I'd like to tell you how I feel}.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Intentions, Results and Intimacy

Tribe Report


I arrive at the tribe meeting feeling excitement, and some confusion. Ed quickly jumps to my confusion and the rest of the tribes about Intentions = Results. As Ed continued I had several "aha" moments. Learning about the system model and the intimacy model really caused a mind scramble. I was really blown away, how Ed came up with this and by how he teaches. We break for dinner, which was excellent.

Michael Marcus gives a talk. I relate to him with his work ethic, and passion. The success he has enjoyed is really motivating. Michael was really a down to earth, great guy.

Was great to see two legends talking shop.

After Michael we did role playing with getting out of a bad partnership. I played a role of [Name] and right away it was pointed out how aggressive I was. Ed finally played the role and was aggressive but very clear on his intentions.

On the way home I was fortunate to sit next to a writer / speaker named... We talk about how people behave. I discuss the system model and intimacy model (which furthered my understanding of it.)

He disagreed, as the more we talked the more he came to liking it. It was a fun plane ride, and an elderly lady sitting in the middle really liked the idea of both models.

I continue to work on implementing the models into my everyday life, my wife has noticed big changes in me since the Tribe started.

Thanks Ed and the rest of the Tribe members for there support.
Thank you for sharing your process.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Colin Firth and TTP at the Oscars


In his acceptance speech for winning Best Actor for his performance in "The King's Speech", Colin Firth shares his feelings with a billion receivers:

"I have a feeling my career just peaked."

"I'm afraid I have to warn you that I'm experiencing stirrings somewhere in the upper abdominals which are threatening to form themselves into dance moves, which... joyous as they may be for me, they would be extremely problematic if they make it to my legs before I get offstage."

Note he identifies his feelings, their location, and describes the form they may take.

He concludes his thanksgiving with: "Now if you will excuse me I have some impulses that I have to attend to backstage."

He also exemplifies the TTP virtues of celebrating his feelings and his success, being intellectually and emotionally open, and he clearly enjoys showing a profit.
Thank you for sharing your insights.