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Ed Seykota's FAQ
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Contributors Say Ed Says
Aug 22, 2018

Wants Criteria

Hi Ed,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones extraordinarily well. Thank you for living an inspirational life and offering so much support to the trading community.

Recently I was perusing your website and came upon your Strong/Weak stocks list. May you please share any/all of the criteria you use to classify a strong/weak stock?

Thanks again and best wishes,

Thank you for sharing your process.

I don't publish the specific criteria - for fear that people might view them as "magic numbers" and use them to engineer trades without proper risk management and wind up harming themselves.

You can make your own similar list with fairly standard sorting tools.

Aug 22, 2018

Recent Spike

Hi Ed,

Been a long time since we last met. Hope all is well on your side and hopefully we get to meet soon.

I’d like to ask for some advice. In our last meeting, you advised me to stick to my textile business and not focus on trading as I am not in it for the right reasons.

I have followed your advice. Recently, the USD has become very strong and thinking it history will repeat itself, I shorted the USD/INR.  I shorted it at 68.90 and the USD has given a breakout last week. The recent spike happened in after hours trading and my stops got bounced. I have a considerable short position and if you can advise me on this situation, I will really be grateful.

Thank you and looking forward to hear from you.
Thank you for sharing your process.

I don't dispense advice on specific market trends, particularly on short-term trends.  

You might consider performing some back testing to determine a bet size you can handle.

You might also consider taking you feelings about <trading> to Tribe as an entry point.

Aug 20, 2018

Tribe Meeting Report

Dear Sir,

We begin the meeting by drumming in & proceed to check in.

Check In
TM1: He shares how his trip to his hometown goes. He becomes aware of getting angry when his family discusses the family home remodelling. He also shares his anger with his mother. He also feels concerned about getting involved in discussions between his mother and girlfriend.

TM2(I) : I share how my trading is going ok. I also share that I notice my feelings more often and react less defensively & am able to share my concerns about my father dozing off on the couch with him. I bring to the Tribe my relationship issues as I am not sure of what is going on. I elect to take to the hotseat my relationship issues.

TM3 : TM3 feels worried about his uncle who is going through a depressive phase. TM3 also feels bad about migrating (which he is unsure of) leaving his uncle at such a crucial time. He is also unsure of his relationship with his girlfriend. He elects to take his snapshot "I have total clarity of what life requires out of me and everything I do is completely aligned with life. Life flows and expresses itself through me freely " to the hotseat.

Hoseat 1
TM3 takes the hotseat with TM1 as process manager. PM asks HS to recite his snapshot "I have total clarity of what life requires out of me and everything I do is completely aligned with life. Life flows and expresses itself through me freely.". After some story telling, HS gets into his forms.  He squints his eyes and moans. TM3 works on various forms. As PM asks him about his feelings, HS mentions he feels I am being distracting him by being too loud. I feel cornered and defensive, but the feeling quickly passes. HS gets into another form where me moves his head and shoulders as if in an epileptic fit. I feel concerned about HS. HS recalls an experience from 5 or 6 years ago where he is sleeping on a bed a little small for him. At one point, the pillow falls of and his head & neck are left suspended in the air while his body is on the couch. He is left suspended there for around 2 hours where he feels intense pain and is unable to shout for help. He feels that this one incident has affected his life till date. He gets into more forms where he makes sounds like an ambulance and feels a dark black ball in his throat.Throughout the process none of his forms are reach a freeze point, rather they are fluid. After some more forms, HS elects to end the process.

Hotseat Checkout
I share that I recall a few incidents of my own during the hotseat. One memory that sticks out is from when I am in the 2nd grade. I see a movie and feel a lump in my throat. I cry but tell others I am missing my father. PM also feels that this is a very good process and HS is moving forward. HS shares the sentiment. He feels tired after the hotseat. He also shares how I over analyse or read too much into the forms or get too loud. I acknowledge his sentiment while feeling cornered. The feeling again passes through quickly.

Hotseat 2
I(TM2) take my relationship issues to tribe. I get into my forms where I notice myself trying to manage my own process.I let go. At one point I say "It is not always my fault" and start punching in the air screaming "Screw You" with great anger. PM (TM1) freezes me and I recall an incident where I am cranky and hungry and throw a tantrum at a relatives house I am visiting with my parents. I share how I always overcompensate by saying sorry multiple times or cut down communication completely. PM and TM3 feel there is a rock there and we do a rocks process. During the second role play, I am successful in handing the rock back to my father. PM who is playing my father says he feels great anger at me. I release both tribesmen from their roles and the HS ends.

PM shares that he sees me opening up and ready to share incidents and feelings with the tribe. I acknowledge my part in setting up the dramas.

We end the meeting here.

Over the next few days, I have some Ahas! around situations I did not fully grasp earlier. I feel somewhat sad and angry and those feelings pass over the weekend.

Thank you for sharing your process, for documenting you meeting and for continuing to implement the Rocks Process.
Aug 19, 2018

Personal Bubble

Hi Ed,

I am 22 years old guy from Turkey. Sorry for bad english. I visualized myself as a rich last summer and i made affirmations. I was have 20k capital and 2 years value investing experience at this time. Then i learned about trend following. I easily made 40k profit in 2-3 months with 10x leverage by stock index futures.

I decided to dropping college. I was very successful but in my country studying economics means you will not get job or you will make 2k/month. After dropping college i was watching market at daytime but in the night i was crying because of the girl i left at College. I couldn’t resist this emotional rollercoaster and went back to college. This was the first time i tell my family and friends that i made 60k.

I realized that the girl i came for already forget about me or everything was just my fantasy. Instantly i felt regret for coming back to school . After making money i became Ayn Rand fan. I wanted to live in a good house but nobody rented their house to me because i told them i made my from markets. Society forced me to go back to my ex neighborhood and i feel like no matter how much money i make they will never accept me. After telling that i made this amount of money, students and teachers at school started to hate me.

Trend in stock index broked. Then i started to make day trading. I didn’t lost money actually i made good profit i was still watching trends too but this trends go for 2-3 days then i open opposite positions and they go for 2-3 days too. One day i “felt” usdtry became so expensive and central bank have to do something i opened short position and central bank increased inters rates i made 60k profit af 1 evening. By the markets open profit dropped to 20k but it was still my record.

Then i started to listen my feelings. Weird part is it worked. I was visualizing im gonna make 8k next day and next day i was making 8k just by listenig my feelings. I go deep about American New Age Spiritualism. One book told me that reality is created by me. It was said by Matrix, Elon Musk, Quantum before. Then i started to think i didn’t made money because i made true moves, i was the one who creates markets. I thought low usdtry is good for me. I shorted usdtry with 20x leverage. It went down for 5 days without any correction i kept buying with my profit. Next week everything turned back but i didn’t use any stop because i was sure it will go down because i wanted it. I lost %80 of my capital next week. Truth is expensive.

Now im at negative balance. It’s funny i was at better situation before starting. I didn’t buy anything with my profits because i was sure im gonna be rich and re-invest. I’m not sure how i became this much stupid. How i lost connection with reality. Why my life sucked after i became richer. Why everybody hated me why i hated everyone. Why everything went worse expect making huge amounts of money.

Actually none of these is my questions for you. My questions are:

-Should i tell lie like everyone else? Because if i was tell lie i was be able to live at better house. Or there was girls who likes me but i didn’t wanted to show them “fake interest” because i was “loyal” to girl who i thought loving me. Or i could hide i made money from people so i could avoid from drama.
-Should i spend or reinvest my money? I was making 30k/month but 2k was more than enough for my expenditures.

Thank you for sharing your process and for noting your different attitudes at different stages of the adventure.

In your relationships with others, you might consider talking less about your money and more about your feelings - and even more, listening to the feelings of others.

You might also consider taking your feelings about <money> and <women> to Tribe as entry points.

Aug 17, 2018

Wants to Learn

Dear Ed,

Good morning.

My name is [Name] from Kenya, I hope this finds you well.

I was very inspired by your wisdom when I was reading market wizard, I applied some of the ideas you shared in your interview and improved my trading, I am writing requesting if you can allow me to learn more from you.

Looking forward to hear from you soon.

Kind regards

Thank you for sharing your process.

I don't consider you need my permission to learn things.

If you learn something from me, I'd like you to write in and tell me about it.
Aug 16, 2018

Ed Says

Chief Ed,

2003: Ed says “most behavior is unconscious” on FAQ.

2012: a book appears with the same message - to worldwide rave reviews.

I wonder what Ed is saying now

Thank you for raising this issue.

2018: Ed says “most behavior is unconscious” on FAQ.

Aug 14, 2018

In Brief

Dear Sir,

I hope you had an amazing birthday, I didn’t want to bother you with my queries on your birthday but maybe I should have sent birthday wishes. Nevertheless, I send my wishes today.

I gather from your FAQ that you like to know people before advising them so I have included my history (in brief). I know it is not as rigorous as meeting someone in person and getting to know them, but it is the best I can do in my situation to introduce myself to you given that I won’t be able to meet you in the near future because

    1.       I live outside USA and do not have a passport.

    2.       Even if I manage to get a passport, it would be very difficult for me to travel abroad due to my current financial situation.

Though, considering that this email may get too long and you might have other things to do as well, I have divided my email into sections so that you can skip the History section if time does not permit.


Introduction & Future Plan:

... I am in my 1st year of college. I am interested in designing a trend following system and eventually want to start a money managing firm/fund after finishing college. For the past few weeks I have been working on your Trading Systems Project (TSP).



The first time I got involved in trading was during the Cryptocurrency mania in late 2017. I like many other naive people bought Bitcoin because there were too many rumors about normal people making fortunes and about how Bitcoin would never stop going up and only the dumb ones who didn’t buy it would be left crying.

Though even when everyone was talking about Cryptocurrencies, I was very skeptical, I thought that it was too good to be true, I knew there had to be a catch because if making money was as easy as buying Cryptocurrencies, soon there would be no poor person left.

But this was no time to reason, Bitcoin prices were making new highs every day, it felt as if all these rumors were really true, that maybe there was something really magical about Bitcoin and maybe everyone was really going to make a fortune except for the skeptical people.

Anyway, I bought Bitcoin and all my tensions about there being a catch dissipated when my balance started increasing exponentially. My balance had almost doubled and then suddenly the prices started to fall rapidly, I got very scared because I had no idea what to do. I could not sell my holdings because if it started to rise again I would be left out. This was when I realized that I had no clue about what I was doing and I started reading about trading.

During my reading, I came across various indicators. I didn’t know how to use them so I started to find out, I saw that most experts that recommended these indicators always presented two scenarios that either the market will go up or it will go down. I didn’t understand how they could trade when they had both bullish and bearish views on the same cryptocurrency. I was very confused and started searching more about trading and was lucky to come across a trend following article which explained that most of these indicator experts had little or no real life trading experience, their source of money was publishing articles on tons of indicator and having paid courses for subscription.

The same trend following article also mentioned moving averages as a way to follow trends. I started checking moving averages on various cryptocurrency charts and found that they often work.

While I had been busy doing all this, the price of Bitcoin had kept going down and with it went down my account balance, my account had lost nearly 40% from the highs, and it was almost back to the starting balance.

Around the same time, I saw an article with the yearly returns of top 100 CTA’s, I was shocked to see that many of the popular CTA’s had an average 25% yearly return. I had assumed that CTA’s would have very high returns, but 25% a year is not bad when you have millions of dollars under management.

But this meant that Bitcoin had really outperformed other markets, because I had almost doubled my balance (more than 90% return) in a matter of few weeks. This realization made me anxious, I started thinking what would happen if Bitcoin started acting like other assets and making 25% a year would be as difficult as competing with top CTA’s, which for a beginner like me, having very little knowledge of the markets would be very difficult. And even if I managed to get returns like the top CTA’s, a 25% yearly return on my capital of two thousand dollars would be very meagre. Thus, I wanted to maximize my profits while Bitcoin was still outperforming other assets and I knew I had to be quick because I didn’t know how long it would last. I read further and became interested in margin trading to increase my profits but since I was so worried about profits, I didn’t realize the associated risks. Soon, I lost my entire investment after trading moving average crossover and making all the novice mistakes like getting chopped up (due to trading on 1 hour timeframe) and overleveraging (in the sense that I put all my balance as margin on each trade for 5X leverage).

I was in shock, but I knew that the problem was not with trend trading but with my way of implementing it. Also, now that I had lost my investment, I had no worry of running out of time to make huge gains. So, I started reading more about trend following to understand how to properly implement it. I have read many articles and books since then and have come to know about you.

It was when I read about the incredible performance of your model account, I decided that if I wanted to succeed in trading, you were the person I needed to learn from. I understand that it was a different time but the returns you had are really mind-blowing. It’s amazing how you multiplied your firms assets under management through trading unlike some of these popular CTA’s which keep on adding customers to increase their assets under management.

I started wondering about how I could contact you and started finding out all I could about you. I came to know about your website, where I saw that you help traders who want to learn. I was overjoyed that I finally could talk to someone, who has been so successful, about trading. I saw the TSP project on your website and learnt Python to design trading systems and I have completed your entire project except the diversification study and now want to run the S&R system on a portfolio (i.e., carrying multiple positions).

It was while I was designing the systems on your website that I became interested in the idea of running a fund. This was because of the ease with which you handle trading, I saw that you enter orders overnight (i.e., after the trading day ends) which was very new to me because when I was trading the moving average crossover on 1 hour timeframe using leverage, I was watching the charts 14 to 16 hours every day because I didn’t want to miss a signal. This was very frustrating and was one of the major reasons due to which I lost my entire investment because firstly, I had no time to think about what I was doing wrong and secondly, after about a week of doing this continuously I was so tired physically (due to lack of sleep) and mentally (due to losing continuously even after missing no signal) that I just wanted it to end. And soon it did when I lost my entire investment.

Because of my experience I thought trading was a very tiring job and the idea of managing someone else’s money never even crossed my mind but as I got familiar with your system, I understood that being a successful fund manager need not be tiring.

I have learnt a lot from your website and would so like to meet you in person to discuss, learn and work with you on various parts of trading, but I know that it won’t be possible in the recent years. I also noticed that you have provided many opportunities to participate in further development of trading systems through various projects like the Associates Program (around 2005) and in various workshops conducted by you. I will come to meet you whenever I get an opportunity because I consider you my trading idol.

I wanted to wish you on your birthday but I thought it would be better if I sent my progress and queries with greetings but now I think I should have wished you on your birthday because I am now too late.

Currently, I am also thinking of running the S&R system on cryptocurrencies to get a feel of real trading using the system. I have chosen cryptocurrencies to test the system because being in college, it will get very hectic for me to set up a margin account with a registered broker. But learning from my past experience, I have decided that this time I will be very patient because the profits are not going to run away from me but my capital will if I don’t be careful. So, I will not start trading before I have backtested the S&R system on a portfolio of cryptocurrencies and I can’t backtest it because I have some queries about it. I have mentioned my queries below and am eagerly waiting for your reply.

I have created a birthday card for you, do check the attachment



Trading System related queries:


1.       EA System:

    a.       I match both the (Slow/Fast): 150/15 & 325/85 run exactly with 25 days warm up i.e., trading starts from 26th day (signals issue after 25th day ends) but 25 days are not subtracted from the number of years when calculating ICAGR. If 25 days are subtracted from the number of years I get different values of ICAGR and Bliss.

    b.      I see that the spreadsheet values you provide were calculated without leaving 25 days i.e., trading starts from 2nd day (signals are issued when 1st day ends). I match all the values if I assume this.

2.       S&R System:

    a.       I match all the results in the spreadsheet except (Slow/Fast): 20/15 and all the 5 runs (20/5, 40/5, 60/5 and so on), I could catch my error if you send me the trade logs for the 20/5 and 20/15.

    b.      Since the system enters orders after the close, there is no exit stop on the day the entry stop is hit because we come to know that an entry stop has been hit only after the trading day ends, am I right in assuming so? If I do not assume this, I get different values.

3.       S&R System for multiple positions:

I am trying to create a backtest of the S&R system carrying multiple stocks/futures position and have the following questions:

    a.       When entering positions, if the fast parameter is used as initial exit stop to calculate “Entry Risk” then sometimes, especially when the fast parameter is too long, the position size seems very small to make decent gains. Would setting an initial stop using percentage (like 5% away), atr multiple (like 2*atr away) or any other method be useful to amplify the gains by increasing position size or would it increase unnecessary whipsaws?

    b.      How to include calculations on margin in the system to further optimize Bliss, calculate maximum drawdown and ICAGR when having multiple positions with margin? And also, optimizing these parameters to avoid a margin call.

    c.       What is the maximum futures and stock positions, a portfolio can have at any given time without having excessive risk, is there a method to find this?

    d.      What heat should I use for each position in a portfolio? Also, what should be the total portfolio heat at any given time to even survive during a losing streak?

    e.      Is there a method to find optimal heat for a portfolio?

    f.        I see that you rank strongest and weakest stocks/futures irrespective of breakout.

        i.      If I see a strong stock that has run a lot (say, 400%) since it broke out and has been running since a lot of time (say, it initially broke out 2-3 months ago), should I add it to the portfolio? If I should add it to the portfolio, should I add it right away or should I wait for it to go above (i.e., breakout) the most recent high? or

        ii.      Should I find stocks that have recently broken out and then rank them and choose the strongest among them?

        iii.      My main question here is, how do I make the system select stocks/futures automatically after a previous position has been closed?

        iv.      Also, what should I do if my portfolio is full and a stock stronger than some stocks on my portfolio emerges? Should I close the weakest performing stock in my portfolio to add the stronger one? What if more than one stock is outperforming the stocks in my portfolio?

    g.       When adding stocks to the portfolio, are they bought on margin, futures or directly?

    h.      Could you give me some rules so that I can include pyramiding in the backtest to compare the results with buying all at once?

4.       Diversification Study

Could you provide the data for Crude Oil and Copper used in the diversification study? My source only provides continuous spliced data for futures contracts.

Thank you for sharing you process and birthday wishes.

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

Aug 14, 2018

Wants System and Psychology Tips

Hi Sir,

Haven't seen any updates from you. I am missing your insights. I hope you are well.

I have a question for you. I am about to test an idea.

I was thinking of a 55-day Donchian break out entry signal with a 1 ATR stop.

Then to pyramid 5 times into the position ever (Current) 1/2 ATR reducing the position risk as quickly as possible, while maximizing profits opportunity. By moving the previous stop to the new ATR stop level (I think if the trade was to kick off it shouldn't move back down there. Otherwise cut losses and move to the next opportunity).

Diversification is also important so I will be looking to apply that in my trading.

I was looking to exit at a 20 day low or a 2 ATR move against me.

Any advice for me sir?

I feel a system like this may work if it fits me. I don't know until I try it. If not I may increase the initial stop to 2 ATR and scale in every 1 ATR and use a 100-day entry. I think that will decrease the system volatility.

I would start with a 2% account risk or maybe 1%. If the system tests out.

It's strange. While writing this I feel I should start with the second method first and take it up a level if I am comfortable with that. And also only to start with 1% risk. Another way of reducing risk and volatility I guess.

Your insights will be appreciated. If not with the system, then about my psychology.


Thank you for sharing your process.

You can answer you system questions by back testing.

You can gain insight into your psychological concerns by taking them to Tribe as entry points.
Aug 9, 2018

Wants High Frequency Advice

Dear Ed,

... I am highly interested in the finance markets and technology.  I really love both subjects. I am 18 years old and have recently graduated from high school.

I really wanna become successful in systematic and high frequency trading.  I got your name by Google searching the book “By Jack D. Schwager: Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders”.

May you please give me some advice on how I could become successful in the field of high frequency trading?

And also could I interview you? Thank you in advance to your response and have a great day!

In best regards,

Thank you for raising this issue.

As trading frequency increases, your potential profit-per-trade falls while your transaction costs stay constant.  

You might imagine trying to buy and flip a residential home every five days.

Large scalpers with very fast computers and dark wires and short lines to exchanges can make a living - especially if the exchanges also pay them for providing liquidity.

I know of no home trader with a successful high frequency trading operation.

High-frequency home traders do seem to get a dopamine thrill from stalking the trade and experiencing the subsequent anxiety.  

So do guys with pornography addictions who set up a bunch of screens, each with lots of movies playing simultaneously - and then skip their eyes to the next scene every couple seconds. Same kind of thrill.

One important difference: high-frequency trading can prove very costly while you can get as much porn as you can stand for free.

You might consider taking your feelings about <excitement> and <boredom> to Tribe as entry points.

Aug 9, 2018

Hockey, Baseball and Trading

Hi Ed,

I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself. I have probably read your interview in Market Wizards at least 100 times over the past 10-15 years.

I especially enjoy the parts about psychology and I am a big believer in understanding yourself and that a huge part of success in the markets is mental.

I was a competitive hockey goalie growing up and it is no different in sports. What makes the difference between a starting goalie and a backup goalie is mental. Same can be said of a .300 hitter in baseball.

In any event, I run my own fund, and would love a chance to speak to you or meet you one day. How do I attend a workshop or set-up private consulting?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Watch this site for news on Workshops.

You can find terms for private consulting at Ground Rules, above.

You can write to FAQ and get answers for free.
Aug 7, 2018

Happy Birthday

Hi Ed,

I hope this email finds you well. I wish you the very best and happiest of birthdays. I’m still in London and doing well. Thanks to your kindness and generosity I’m able to have a life I never dreamed possible and doing what I love to do. I hope the same for you.

Yours truly,
Thank you for sharing your process and for thinking of me on my 2^3 x 3^2 birthday.
Aug 6, 2018

Cutting Losses

Hi Ed,

Hope you are doing well! I have watched a lot of your videos and learned a lot from trading tips you share. I trade SPY Calls/Put Options at my day job everyday. I have been trading for a little over a year now with stocks and options. I am familiar with fundamental and technical analysis. I really want to be a good trader but I have a problem with cutting losses, most of the time I cut my losses but sometimes I don't and start averaging down and loose all I made including my initial investments.

This is my strategy:

Buying Put at resistance,
if breaks resistance cut the losses and buy Call,
if rejection from resistance sell at next support.

Buying Call at support,
if breaks support cut the losses and buy Put,
if uptrend starts sell at next resistance.

Following Rules:
I trade the same positions size.
I wait for my setups.
Fade short term to long term trend.
Trade Recap.
Homework, Prep for tomorrow.
Use 5mins, 30mins and daily naked charts.
Catalyst, Earnings etc.

Breaking Rules:
Not Cutting losses
Averaging Down

I have more wins than losses with 2:1 profit/loss ratio at least. The only problem I have is averaging down/not cutting my losses even when I have market confirmation that trade is going against me.

I lost all my account last week playing PUT Options for SPY. One trade usually brings a huge loss. But I don't want to give up because I am very passionate about it. But I have hesitation in myself that I will do the same mistake again since I did it already several time.

Could you please give me advice how I can be more disciplined so I can follow my plan? I believe that trading with support and resistance is working for me pretty well except not cutting losses on time.

I know you might get a lot of questions/inquiries but whenever you find a time, I would appreciate if you could reply me please.

Thank you very much in advance,

Thank you for sharing your process.

You seem to know all about the theory of cutting losses.  You also appear to have some strong feelings that arise around loss-cutting time - and that overwhelm your system rules.

You can come to identify and modify your response patterns with the Rocks Process.

You might consider locating or starting a Tribe and then taking your feelings about <cutting losses> to Tribe as a Rocks-Process entry point.
Aug 4, 2018

Tribe Meeting Report

Dear Sir,

With 3 members present, we begin drumming & proceed to check in.

Check In

TM1 shares how he is upset about an office chat about him comes to his notice. He talks to his Girlfriend & another Tribe Member. TM feels that he has bought it upon himself. He feels angry and sad at this. He is also uncomfortable sharing with his workmates that he is travelling to his hometown.

TM2(I): I share that I am confused about a relationship and unsure of what I or what is going on. I also share that I have feelings of self doubt when one trade of mine becomes very volatile & I keep thinking whether I am cut out to be a Trader or not. I also feel nervous about mentoring a young child (a 12 year old). I elect to take the hotseat.

TM3 : He shares his confusion regarding his relationship. He shares that he is unsure about his location track, on whether to migrate or to stay in [Country]. He shares his experience of from when is up all night crying. Subsequently he gets a blood test done & discovers he has low vitamin B12 & vitamin D and high cholesterol. He is surprised at the high cholesterol. He has a snapshot.

Process 1 : Hotseat
With TM3 as the Process Manager, I take the Hotseat.

I  take the hotseat and and describe my issue around relationships.There is some storytelling as I feel a small tightness around my left calf muscle. The Tribe encourages me to feel the tightness. I start to rub the fingers on my left hand. I develop more forms as I stretch my back and hands. I feel a pain in the back & tribe encourages me to feel it fully. I feel a tightness below my diaphragm & continue feel it. At one time I see images of food. I stop and sit on the Hotseat for some time. I feel I am done. TM1 asks me if I see any images or have any thoughts. My only thought is "Give me some damn food..." & I have an Aha! I eat anytime I get the uncomfortable feeling. I had thought about it earlier as well, but on the Hotseat I could feel the actual feeling. I develop a new form of breathing deeply while squinting my face & eyes. Another form I develop is tightening my jaw & moving my ears & eyebrows.I recall an incident from when I am 13 or 14. I am about to get into the car when my father hits the gas & the car moves forward, only a meter or 2. My mother starts screaming at my father & I am quiet. I feel sad & angry that my father never seems involved. I feels he is always physically present but mentally absent. I am worried that he never shares what he feels, leaving it for us to guess. PM feels this is a good incident to do a rocks process.

We identify a medicinal rock from my mother where her default reaction is to shout or cut all communication. PM roleplays my mother & gives me the rock. I give it back to him. It takes some convincing & I feel very sad & compassionate for my mother as I hand back the rock to PM. TM1 hands me a heart rock and asks me to share my feelings. I repeat thrice " I share my feelings & create rapport with another person. I also help them in anyway I can to the extent they want me to."

We roleplay the scene again. I am able to calm my mother. I also share my feelings with my father. TM1 ignores me & I feel angry but a minute later he returns to share my feelings. I release everyone from their role. I am somewhat eerily surprised at the accuracy of the roles played. We proceed to check out.

HS Checkout:

TM1 shares that he feels this is one of my best hotseats. He feels I really push thru and stay on target during the hotseat. He assures me that the Tribe is a safe place for me and we are all in this together. He also notes that during the role play

TM3 (PM) shares that during the roleplay he has a lot of feelings playing my mother. He shares that at some points during the process, he disconnects. He thanks TM1 for the probing around my "Give me some damn food..".

I agree with TM1 that if I am unable to create rapport quickly, I tend to get angry at the other person and cut communication. I thank them for the support & the HS ends.

Process 2 : Snapshot

TM3 shares his vision of living in complete awareness,doing what life requires of him & going along the flow of life & not be ruled by ego & not have goals.

TM1 shares that while he (TM1) finds the goal amazing, he feels unsure on how to measure TM3s progress towards the goal. He also feels that this is a life time journey & we are already a lot by our tribe meetings & other spiritual practices.

I share that I find the going with the flow part to be passive. For instance in case of a car rushing down towards TM3, he may assume that life wants him to be hit by a car and not move or when he says he does not want goals, he may never set any for himself & use the passivity as an excuse.

After several rounds of clarification we agree on the following goal for TM3:

"I have total clarity of what life requires out of me and everything I do is completely aligned with life. Life flows through me freely."

We end the process here.

We do a meeting check out & the meeting ends.


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

I commend you on implementing the Rocks Process.
Aug 3, 2018

Red Tape

Hi Mr. Seykota, 

So I’m at work on my break, listening to Market Wizards on audible. I get to listen to audible books since I work alone in a lab.  I’m on your chapter now and decided I wanted to email you, so google allowed me to find your website and email. 

Currently I’m working as a lab tech, for a chemical company while holding a chemical engineering degree from a local state university. I find myself looking for more chemical engineering jobs, but the truth is deep down It doesn’t interest me. Mostly I see and hear stories, or how it is at my place of how slow change occurs.

I almost have a either do it right or don’t do it at all attitude. With my career path even if I were to get a engineering role I feel that it would just be a waste, there’s too much red tape where you can’t really rock the boat, because if you do you’ll get kicked to the curb, the money isn’t right for what I would like to do one day, and it just doesn’t seem like it would be at all satisfying. When I talk to the other engineers everyone is coming here, putting money into a 401k to retire, maybe doing stuff around the house, maybe making some real estate money here and there, but overall, they aren’t really happy. I know that I don’t want to go down this road and not live my life to the fullest. 

I remember picking up the local newspaper somewhere in the fourth grade and always being interested in the sports numbers and the stock market numbers. I just loved numbers and will always love them. I had a love for math from 1st grade and even to now, except I don’t use it in any work, or if I do it’s only the basic stuff.

I’ve known that I wanted to do something with the market since a early age, but not getting the support to follow through with it kind of held me back. Coming from a 1st generation family that came from a communist system in Yugoslavia, and then being on the poorer side the stock market isn’t looked at too highly. That being said it is something that I deeply want to learn, and something I want to become very successful in.

I know that I can learn everything that I need on my own, and through sources either on the internet or in books. I’d really like to find someone that I can work for, and be mentored, so that the growing pains I experience are less severe. I’m hoping that could be you, but if not you perhaps you could recommend me to someone that would be willing to invest their time in the next generation of traders. One of my main life goals is to become successful enough to spur new economic growth through personal investments into the country that I came from at 6 yrs old. When there isn’t much economic prosperity, high unemployment rates a country slowly loses its cultural values. The young and talented leave to surrounding areas, they live in different countries slowly shift mentally to absorb the culture and traditions of the country that they live in and slowly forget their own. Before I take my last breath, I would like to think that I made a difference to a large number of people. 

Would you be willing to help? 

I really appreciate your time, I’ve CC’d my email, if you’d like to respond to it. I’d really appreciate it, and it would make my day.
Thank you for sharing your process.

Thank you, as well for helping to illustrate the personal side of some of the trends I mention in my book, Govopoly in the 39-th Day.

The fun and excitement of working in Thomas Edison's lab - or in the basement at Xerox Menlo park (birthplace of personal computing) gradually morph into the anguish and futility and red tape you feel at your post.

Freedom enables creativity.  As the Freedom Index falls, so does the opportunity to create. Creative people find themselves suffocating.

The growth industries migrate toward monitoring and controlling people - and toward preserving the status quo.

You might notice the quality of your personal life has a lot to do with how you select and manage a few key relationships - and if you consider your occupation represents right livelihood for you.

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

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