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Ed Seykota's FAQ
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Jul 20, 2014

Wants to Talk

Hi Ed,

I wonder if I might talk to you over the phone. I feel myself spiraling into my old habits. I write the attached letter to [Name] a couple days ago.

I want to start a Tribe here in [City] after Ramadan ends. I have certain goals in mind. I want to succeed in unblocking my feelings. I want financil independence from my family and create an interdependent relationship instead. This goes for all the relationships around me as well.

For my initial goal, I want to identify the feelings that prevent me from creating a trading system.

I want to create a trading system for stocks and commodities. I start a system a while back but never finish it, before going into a drawdown in my personal life that takes me two years to recover from. In the process of coming up with a trading system that fits me, I believe I will do the same with my personal life.

Hence the reason I cannot commit to [Name] or anyone else right now.

Thanks for listening Ed.

I look forward to your reply,

Thank you for sharing your process.

I deal with issues and situations in this column, for free, generally by recommending people take their feelings to Tribe.

If you wish to visit with me by phone, privately, see my terms for private consulting at the Ground Rules link, above.

Jul 20, 2014

Wants to Learn How to Trade

Hello Ed,

This is [Name] from [City], hope this email finds you well.

I am currently a self employed commercial mortgage hard money lender and commercial mortgage broker in the [City] area. I have been doing this work for 25 years and I make a decent living.

I have been scaling down my business knowing that I want to transfer over to trend trading. I have researched the trading industry in that I wanted to see what type of trading would be best for me. After reading several books on different types of trading; "Trend Trading" hit home for me. Also I just finished reading "Govopoly" and now I know for sure this is the type of trading I want to do using your system.

I agree with your thinking patterns and feel I am now ready to start my journey into trend trading. My goal is to start a private session with you, take the next workshop, connect with a tribe in my area and being my new business as a trend trader.

I have my personal money which I feel will be enough for me to get started ($300-500,000). Once I learn how to trend trade I have access to other people's money that will allow me to trade for them; similar to what I do now. I invest client's money into commercial mortgages and give them a return of 10-12% and I make a spread of 2-4% for myself on the total investment amount.

My goal to having a private consulting session with you would be to learn from you how to use your system of trend trading and anything else you feel you can teach me.

Personally I feel I am a disciplined person and I am conditioned to wait for money. The commercial mortgage business is not easy and frequently takes a very long time for transactions to close, and the deals don't always go through. When the deals do close I get a large sum of money all at once. Between closings I have learned to live by controlling my large lump sum of money and managing it till the next closing.

I am available to meet with you immediately at your convenience. I will anxiously wait to hear from you.

Many thanks for your consideration.

Thank you for your inquiry.

You might consider you already have a business that works and that throws off a nice return for both your clients and yourself.

If you have other motivations for wishing to change careers and wish to see me privately, in person, see my terms for private consulting, via the link to Ground Rules, above.
Jul 20, 2014

More on Heartbreak (see previous)

Dear Ed,

Hmmm...supporting my partner more important than my own survival?

Sounds codependent to me.

Self-destructive, too.

You use the words "worrying about your own survival" so perhaps it's the worrying that makes it a problem.

Dunno. Maybe both parties contribute?


Thank you for sharing your cogitations.

You might consider taking your feelings about <survival> and <supporting others> to Tribe.
Jul 20, 2014



The mnemonic you posted got me thinking about airplane spins.

A spin is a special category of stall resulting in autorotation about the vertical axis and a shallow, rotating, downward path. Spins can be entered intentionally or unintentionally, from any flight attitude if the aircraft has sufficient yaw while at the stall point. In a normal spin, the wing on the inside of the turn is stalled while the outside wing remains flying; it is possible for both wings to be stalled but the angle of attack of each wing, and consequently its lift and drag, will be different. Either situation causes the aircraft to autorotate (yaw) toward the stalled wing due to its higher drag and loss of lift. Spins are characterized by high angle of attack, an airspeed below the stall on at least one wing and a shallow decent. Recovery may require a specific and counterintuitive set of actions in order to avoid a crash.


Thank you for sending me the article.

You might consider taking your feelings about <spinning and stalling> to Tribe.
Jul 19, 2014

Street Musician - Guitar


You might enjoy this:
Thank you for sending me the link.
Jul 18, 2014

Govopoly Dovetail


Jerry Pournelle is a famous sci-fi writer & journalist.

His "Iron Law of Bureaucracy" dovetails well with Govopoly.

It states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people:

First, there will be those who are devoted to the original goals of the organization. An example is dedicated classroom teachers.

Second, will be those who are dedicated to the organization itself. An example is administrators in the education system.

The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization.

It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

Thank you for sending me your thoughts and the links.
Jul 18, 2014

More on Heartbreak

Dear Ed,

Thank you for directing my attention to the physical feelings of heartbreak and disappointment in my body.

Heartbreak feels like a stab in the area of my heart; hence, I suppose, the origin of the term. Disappointment feels like a sinking feeling throughout my entire body, a heaviness and deflation, especially in my face, shoulders and torso.

This exercise helps me distinguish the feelings and leads me to define heartbreak as having something to do with suddenness, as well as with the degree of the loss. Perhaps as time passes, at least in some cases, heartbreak diffuses into disappointment. Not sure about that ...

I wonder about the word "attachment" and how it seems to have acquired a connotation of something we "should" not do, like it will lead us to feel entitled to something, or to suffer greatly when we lose the thing we feel an attachment to.

I don't want to hold back from connecting with an experience or a person simply because I might suffer when I lose it (not if, but when).

I can handle feeling disappointed, even heartbroken, in the service of fully engaging with life.


Thank you for sharing your process and analytics.

Recipe for Heartbreak

Stop supporting your partner

and start worrying
about your own survival.

Jul 18, 2014

Tribe Report


The Austin Tribe leader writes to FAQs: "I feel some frustration because I am unable to help this member (me) through his rocks. I stop myself and realize that willingness must come from the Hotseat. I have tried to make the hot seat angry, I have tried to clap when the Hotseat judges his feelings. Then I decide I am doing this for me and I have to let him find the way."

It's hard for me to feel the feeling of unwillingness when I hardly feel anything as we go through these processes. I will press on.

I thank him & the Austin Tribe for the help. As a part of our TTP, they may make me angry and clap@judge as often as they like.

Thank you for suggesting I improve my backtesting. I continue to work on this. As a part of this, I backtest my system on stocks & indexes from 1983 through 2002. An unexpected 48% max drawdown and 0.14 MAR result. I've got some work to do…

Thank you for sharing your process.
Jul 18, 2014

Protege Drops Back In


No, the Protege doesnt drop out.

I thought you were upset and in that process you wrote the thousand question suggestion,

To the point, what should the thousand questions be about?

My mind is focused only at a few right now, though. And above being a TTP Protege, I want to be your trading protege. :)


Thank you for sharing your process.
Jul 18, 2014

Protege Drops Out


I am incredibly sorry Ed, if I am offending you or posting questions at the wrong forum.

It was not my motive,

I will refrain from writing further if it is the wrong place, but please let me know how can I otherwise connect with one of the great traders of my time?

Thank you for sharing your process - and for expressing your feeling.

Connecting does not normally require much effort; staying in connection may.

If you wish to continue as TTP Protege, you might consider demonstrating willingness to comply with all previous suggestions.

For example, the previous suggestion about writing down 1000 questions might assist you in differentiating between control-centric and intimacy-centric relating.

You might also consider taking your feelings about <following rules> to Tribe.
Jul 18, 2014

Protege Likes to Ask Questions


I am grateful for your replies,

Ive achieved a very good to decent level of mastery over the factual side as suggested by you, that is what Ive done for years. But the reason I believe Ive not led where I should have is because of the lack of mastery over my feelings and my viewpoint of seeing things,

I think that has what has come to me from your last reply, and I think is very correct, at least in my own perception.

However, I would like to ask you, is it fact or is it feeling whose mastery leads to success in trading?

Thanks again!

Thank you for asking another question.

If you wish to display willingness to continue in the role of TTP Protege, you might consider writing down 1000 questions.

Jul 17, 2014

Just Weighting Around


I continue to follow my not-a-diet food plan.

Not-a-Diet Food Plan

Eat if and only if
you feel hunger.

If you feel anything else
respond proactively.


Thank you for sharing your process.
Jul 17, 2014

Tribe Meeting Report


I enter the meeting with energy as I have some issues that I wish to work on. I am also excited because the previous meeting went well in spite of our leadership changes.

We begin working on issues and start with a member who has trouble starting and stopping when working on his systems. He mentions a "don't know" feeling and a "need to know feeling". As a group we push to get this member to be more specific in describing his feelings. We take a step back and try to understand what he is trying to accomplish. We want to know if he has a process to develop his systems. He speaks about Kaufman's X step process but he cannot tell us where he is in the process. I feel some frustration because I am unable to help this member through his rocks. I stop myself and realize that willingness must come from the Hotseat. I have tried to make the hot seat angry, I have tried to clap when the Hotseat judges his feelings. Then I decide I am doing this for me and I have to let him find the way.

A tribe member reads a personal letter to a deceased family member. I feel a bit confused during the beginning of this process but as he reads I decide to just listen and receive his feelings. He says he just wants us to listen and I believe that this is all he wants. I feel an urge to discuss the letter to understand more. I realize that the best thing I can do for this member is respect his wishes and let the process move on. Another tribe member brings up wanting to discuss the letter and I remind the group that the Hotseat only requested to read the letter and did not want to discuss. I feel I am defending the Hotseat and this makes me a bit uncomfortable. I do not think the Hotseat need someone to defend him but as the Tribe leader I want to hold the group to the wishes of the Hotseat. I think about this into the next day and decide that I behaved how I wanted to and that I should not act in way to manage the feeling of others. If group members get mad at me for trying, in good faith, to keep the group on point then they can share their feelings about it.

Our next two hotseats revolve around dealing with work issues. Both involve role playing and they are very gratifying because I am enjoying practicing using our tools. I find that I often enjoy teaching and advising people because it sharpens my understanding of the subject at hand. I notice this when helping other use SVOp and sharing feelings. I feel happy because we are growing together.

At the end of the night I take the Hotseat for a temper issues I have. We conduct the rocks process and I feel tremendous progress with my issues of blowing up when attacked. The real breakthrough for me though is not the resolution of this one issue, it is the realization that the group therapy process of TTP is a "better way" to work through issues. It took about 15 tribe meetings for this to fully sink in with me but I discovered this through observation and experimentation. The TTP process is a better way and I leave the meeting feeling like I am fully committed to making this part of my life. With the Austin tribe evolving, the frequency of therapy may change for me but I am truly joyful to learn this lesson.

This is the end of this tribe series for me but I am very grateful to the tribe members for all of the effort, patience and caring each member put forth. I have seen material growth not only in myself but in everyone who took part in our meetings.

Thank you for sharing your process.
Jul 17, 2014

The Line at Vegas


Most of the talk with the sports bettors here in Vegas and online are now talking about stocks and investments.

As of the last week, I hear comments like:

"Buying a house is a really good idea and safe - I have no other choice."

"Biotechs for the win."

"Dow will hit 20k."

"I don't expect a 10% or more correction for 3+ years. "

"If you want to good strategy by VIX futures and also sell calls against it."

"I don't think shorting the market in the next five years is a good thing"

"The market should be 2.5x now in a decade."

"My biggest position is Yahoo simply for the Alibaba angle. That's going to make a lot of people a s--tload."

"Bought Apple and Rite Aid"


Thank you for sharing your view of the action on the Strip.
Jul 16, 2014

Lines in the Sand

Dear Sir,

I sit at your feet and listen.

I enjoyed your post "drawing a line in the sand," and just wanted to add that sometimes water runs into the line drawn in the sand.

I give the following link as a example: Panama Canal.

Thank you for sharing your insights.
Jul 16, 2014

The Great Flydini


You might like this video of Steve Martin on Johnny Carson's Show, from some 22 years ago.

Thank you for sending me the link.

In comedy,
as in trading,
timing counts for a lot.

Jul 16, 2014

Tribe Meeting Report

Hi Ed,

We have 6 members in the tribe meeting. This is the last Austin meeting in this 2014 series.

In one process, we role play a drama among traders, manager and unhappy clients. One client calls the trader about recently loss and asks about why his account loses 30% money while another traders account has 20% up. The client then calls the trader's manager to complain about this. I play the manager. This is a position I never been in. And it's very interesting for me to play this role. I feel embarrassed and unhappy when the client talk to me. Then another client call me and complain the same trader. I help the clients to move their money to the winning trader. Only a monthly later they lose another 10% and I help them switch back. I feel frustrated.

In another process, a member reads his letter to his deceased brother. He shares that he misses his brother and wishes he could be able to do more for him. I feel moved by his letter and feel extremely sad. No sadness is greater than loss of a beloved family member. I wish the brother can hear his letter in heaven and gets to know how much the member loves him. It prompts me to seize the moment of now, and take good care of my family. Life is short and there's nothing more important than family.

I check in my issue on building rapport. I notice in the office, I have fear to create rapport with my manager. When he comes to my office, I have no problem talking to him and we get along very well. Most time I share feelings and thoughts well with him. When in the group meeting, I also feel very comfortable and blend in. The only problem is that in all these case, it is always him who comes and starts the talk. I rarely deliberately goes to him to start a casual communication.

A recently example is that after I come back from vacation, I head directly for the office and start to work hard. My manager comes to my office and asks about my vacation and we have a good conversation. I am unhappy about myself that I am not the one who goes to say hello to him after my vacation, instead I wait for him to come to me. I did feel some resistance for me to do that. My mangers is a very gentle, proper and quiet man. And for sure my fear comes from inside my own psyche. I don't like such passive social pattern and want to be a little more proactive when relating to people, specially to authority or people who I feel fear or admire.

Tribe help me to practice having a short talk with my manager. PM trains me to say " I just want to stop by and say hello." Another member helps to watch my posture, where my hands stays. I feel uneasy and don't know where to place my hand. Two members play my boss. They play a busy boss and I have to wait. When I stand there, I feel stuck, I don't know whether I should leave or stay. A surrogate plays how to handle this situation. He waits patiently for the boss to finish his call and then has a short talk with the boss. I then ask to play it myself and feel differently. Another member plays an extreme busy boss talking to all kinds of persons. I feel I am somebody out of place in the office. The boss later shares that he also feels some pressure when I keep standing there while he is busy on phone, talking to assistant.

It's a good training and I acquire some useful tools. I promise the Tribe that I do a short talk to my boss once per week till next tribe meeting. PM points out that he notices there might be more issues or feelings in my drama which preventing me from doing that. I kind of agree. And after I come back home, I realize that it's true. When I am in office and thinking of my promise, I feel nervous and unable to do that. Maybe there's something else I need to work on in my subconscious level, then I can naturally relate more closely to my boss and I don't need to consciously force myself to go there and do it once per week till next tribe meeting. So I decide to discard the promise and see what's happening.

In the last process in this meeting, a member has desire to fight back the health care system. He explores his feelings of wanting to fight back. Tribe helps him to get into forms and he recalls an early incidents in his front yard. Several kids chase him and his brother all the way to his drive way. His mom comes out and the kids say curse words to her and she gets very mad. She yells at the bullies and they left.

We role play this situation and I play one of the bullies. We identify the mom is the rock donor for the fighting rock. After fore-giving and deliver the heart rock, the client practice a new way to face bullies. He turn around and look at me, "Stay out of my property". I am enjoying chasing and playing him and am shocked when hearing this. It's something I don't know how to deal with it. Client asks what we want, my friends tells him we want to beat him up. He stands there and says OK if we want to hit him. So we hit him. I feel less drive to hurt him when he has no resistance. Later my friend gets bored and we leave.

This process reminds me of my own process in March about the bully in my school. This time I am able to have a chance to stand in the shoes of the bully, and experience what's inside the heart of a bully. It's a interesting process. I also notice that my bully process is the first Tribe meeting in the 2014 Austin series. Now we conclude Austin meetings with another bully process.

We checkout the process and the entire meeting and the entire Austin series. The leader shares with us his desire to carry on this TTP art, I also share the same desire. We look forward to the season finale in Puerto Rico.

Thank you,

Thank you for sharing your process.
Jul 16, 2014



Your potential protege wants to learn about trading not TTP. You have the poor guy spinning.
Thank you for sharing your observation.

In TTP, We Don't Spin People

We assist them to notice
their own spin.

Jul 16, 2014

Just the Facts, Ma'am


Thank you for your reply Ed!

Yes, I seek to attain the seem mentor-mentee relationship with you. You are older than me, much more experienced and someone who I think can guide me ahead.

As far as your question lies,

The feeling of wanting to inquire, this curiosity is innate. It arises from a very subconscious level, probably deep within the seat of my mind, its something that arises from naturally within. Ive no control over it, as it is rather enjoyable to try to understand various phenomena of our world.

Irrespective of whether you accept to mentor me, I will definitely go through the FAQ and your book for further investigation and get back to you on that,


P.S. However, I would like to ask, how would describing my feeling of curiosity help me advance in my project, that is FOREX?
P.P.S Thanks again :D

Thank you for raising the issue of feelings and facts.

In TTP we do not attempt to fix anyone or to impose process on them.

Those who display willingness to dig into the work, generally find support and in coming to terms with their inner process - as it applies in their lives and in their trading.

Those who prefer to deal with facts rather than with feelings, can find numerous resources on Google, such as:
Jul 15, 2014

The Seeking Protege


Satisfaction is my goal, the project at hand is FOREX.

You did ask an interesting question.

Well, to answer that.

I did take quite some time to grasp your question. But I will answer the question on my perception. Introspecting and a lot of minutes later on, "Inquiring about the feeling Ive of wanting to inquire".

Well, all I want to do is to do is put my curiosity to further action. Ive already learnt a lot about FX and I am constantly learning everyday. All I want to do is learn, apply and grow because this is my passion. This is the answer to the inquiry to my feeling to wanting an inquiry.

Plain and simple, I just want to learn and seek beyond my reach, hit at my goals. I want to live a life that is reserved only for a few. A few passionate individuals who do what it takes to reach there, to stay there and leave legacies behind. And ultimately, what all I do or make I want to leave behind something that helps generations and beyond.

Since you are the master at this field, I seek to you to mentor me, and accept me as your protege.

Thank you for sharing your process.

I hold the word, protege, to indicate a person who receives guidance and support by a mentor, generally someone older, with more experience.

You can register your willingness to receive guidance by receiving it.

In that connection, you might consider receiving this: provide more detail about where in your body you register your feelings of <wanting to inquire>.

You might also consider, in your inquiries about the feeling of <wanting to inquire>, reading through FAQ, and also reading my book, The Trading Tribe, as references on how to identify and describe feelings in your body.

You might also consider persuing your inquiries by taking your feeling of <wanting to inquire> to Tribe.


we register feelings
such as excitement
and anticipation

as body sensations
such as goose bumps.

We Register Emotions

as sets of feelings.

Jul 15, 2014

Still More on Protege


My apologies for not reading the FAQ page,

Answering your question Ed,

I am a boy who grew up in a small city ... From very early on in life, I had dreams that reached beyond my grasp. It was this journey, to bridge the gap between my grasp and my dreams has what has been the driving factor of my life. During this course, I met a beautiful thing, FOREX. Waltzing with these dancing charts, bouncing around, it all had a different world of its own. From day one I fell in love. This has been my pursuit so far.

And as to what I want to accomplish, I just want to accomplish satisfaction. Satisfaction derives to me from my urge to constantly learn about myself and my surroundings and to use that knowledge for better. I consider my curiosity a gift from god. I want to use the curiosity to to constantly learn and put myself in a place where I am in flow with the markets. The very thought of being there with the changing winds in the market, to witness history being made at that every point in time is enough to kindle burning interests inside me. I just want to go on this pursuit of inquiry, to constantly learn, and to apply what I've gained to change lives; even after me. That's all I long for.


Thank you for sharing your process.

I wonder if you consider satisfaction as a project, something you can accomplish by doing something.

Since you say you want to go on a pursuit of inquiry, I might suggest an inquiry for you to pursue. It has to do with your feelings about inquiry - and it may lead to you to making some inquiries of yourself.

In particular, please inquire about <the feeling you have of wanting to inquire>.

Let me know what you come up with.

Jul 15, 2014

More On Protege (see previous)


So Ed, would you be my teacher? Give me a chance to be your protege? :)

Hmmm ... I still await your response to your first assignment.

You might also consider taking your feelings about <reading carefully> to Tribe.
Jul 15, 2014

Workshop Preliminary Date

Hello Ed,

Do you have any preliminary dates set up for the next TTP workshop?

Thank you,

Thank you for raising this issue.

I can present a Workshop October 10-12, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Jul 15, 2014

Tribe Fashion


You might enjoy this photo.

Stephani Struts Her Stuff

Thank you for sending me the photo.

If you look real hard, you might see a Heart Rock in her pocket.
Jul 14, 2014


Hey there,

... I am presently located in [City]. I am presently a student of engineering and an ardent trader since the age of 15. I've spent most of my growing years with the markets. From teaching myself programming languages to automate my analysis to developing my own technical tools to trade.

The journey has been exciting so far!

I am sending this e-mail to you not to grasp your system or your strategy, but rather to learn from your experiences as a phenomenal trader.

Presently, I am in a college here, one made in collaboration with your Alma matter MIT. I am a student of Computer Sciences and have deep love with logic and the application of it.

The market has been a place of worship for me, and I've given tremendous time to it to further advance myself with the dancing charts :)

I would like to be your protege, a student who can learn devote fully from a master in this field. I would very humbly request you to train me in this field so I that I can advance in my god given passions and further continue the legacy of us traders,

Thanking you,

Thank you for reaching out to me.

For your first assignment, you might consider writing down what you wish to accomplish.
Jul 14, 2014

Tribe Meeting Report


This is the final meeting of the Austin Tribe Series.

We identify several issues to work on in the meeting.

After initial break, I share a letter I recently wrote to my brother. I wonder what I will feel while reading it to the group. I feel sadness and sorrow building inside of me as I progress with the letter. I notice my feelings are less intense each time I read it. When done, I feel relaxed, relief and more release. Initially, I do not feel like I want verbal feedback from the tribe members. I could feel the feedback from the expressions on their faces. One member does not want to move on. We briefly explore his feelings and he requests me to re-read the letter. I agree and feel relaxed about re-reading the letter. Any feelings dissolve form the member and everyone shares their feelings about the letter. I thank them for listening to my letter and sharing their feelings. I feel more release.

One member wants to stop stopping. He brings up several incidences where he stops but does not understand his desire to stop. Discussion centers around his system development and his inclination to stop. He states he has all the steps laid out, but distracts himself when he encounters any small problem. He agrees he makes 'a mountain out of molehill'. We role play several scenarios where his completed system is used live with client money. We add a boss and another trader to amplify the role play.

Another member wants to get close to his boss through small talk. He sees others doing it and he wants to do it too although he is unsure if the boss really wants small talk. We do several role plays with a surrogate and a 'not busy' and a 'busy' boss for him to observe. We role play some more with him trying to engage in small talk with a 'busy' boss and a 'really busy' boss. He states he likes the role play and learns a lot from it. He agrees to once a week attempt at small talk with boss.

Another member is unsure how to act with his employees. He owns the company and thinks he is too 'chummy' with the employees. He is having trouble being friendly with them while asserting his authority. He doesn't think they take him seriously and wants them to be more productive. We role play several scenarios with two employees having difficulty completing their tasks on time. Through role play we provide new resources for him to consider using with his employees to get what he wants.

Another member states he feels like he goes on the counter-attack and immediately pushes people away when he feels he is being attacked. His form appears and we encourage him to amplify it. He remembers incident where burnout kids from neighboring town chase him and his brother back home. He thinks it's a game until the kids come onto his property and want to fight them. He is scared. His mother comes out of the house and the kids call his mom a bitch. She explodes and starts pushing the kids off the property. We role play the scene several times and provide a heart rock with various responses to the kids. He responds differently to the kids this time and the intense situation dissolves rapidly.

I thank my fellow tribe members for their willingness to participate in tribe, their acceptance, support and patience.


Thank you for sharing your process and for documenting your meeting.
Jul 13, 2014

Puerto Rico

Dear Ed,

Hope you are fine.

Read that you have a home in Puerto Rico.



Best wishes,

Thank you for your support,
Jul 13, 2014

Tribe Meeting Report


We drum, check-in, then do show-&-tell our Tribe commitments.

I am irritated that I repeatedly start & stop my systems development. Repeatedly stopping is a part of my process. On the drive to the meeting, I think about my youth & family dynamics. My loving, strong, strict Mom of seven kids was a likely stressor. My quiet, "good-guy" Dad and my six brothers and sisters were likely donors of many rocks.

We look for issues to develop. ● Wants to develop casual friendly rapport with boss at work but it's hard to do. ● Too friendly with employees at work so not enough work gets done. ● Keep stopping systems development. ● Tension over medical bills and the billing process. ● Wants to read something to the group.

We explore my systems development blockage. The Tribe leader asks me what I want. I can't state it clearly. He asks me where I'm at in my systems development process and I can't state that either. While part of me feels that I'm well organized (I've got a document outlining my progress in Perry Kaufman's 26 steps of robust system development), another part of me can't say where I'm at or what's next or what's holding me up. We agree I'm stuck but without a clear problem, the process manager has nothing to work with. We agree to stop.

Five of us are traders. The sixth is not. We do a trading simulation. The Tribe leader lets the traders pick hypothetical systems, some good, some bad, written on scraps of paper, from his hand. Then the traders try to "sell" our systems to the non-trader who acts as a potential client. It is interesting to see how our hypothetical results shape our communications. Those with good to great results try to "sell" their results. Those without good results try to establish rapport and ask what the client wants. We check out on this process.

A Tribe member's brother passed away some time ago. The Tribe member reads a therapeutic letter he recently wrote to his brother. It is very moving to me. My chest and throat get tight and my eyes start to tear up. After he finishes reading, the Tribe leader starts to move on. I ask to stop as I feel it is too hasty for such a powerful moment. We talk about my feelings. I have strong emotions but I don't have the willingness to amp them up and develop a form to find critical incidents. We check out and move on.

We role play four times the tribe member who is too friendly with his employees. The first time he is friendly with two employees. Then we have surrogates role play him twice, establishing intimacy with the employees while setting goals. The fourth time he takes what he has learned from the surrogates and improves his management skills. We check out.

Another tribe member has problems relaxing and establishing rapport with his bosses. We role play and he picks up skills that he says will be useful in communicating at work. We check out.

The Tribe leader says he has inappropriate anger at times. As he talks, a "hands pushing others away" form appears. I don't notice it but a veteran tribe member does and asks him to "do that again… do that some more…" I don't think much will emerge from this but as he repeats this and amps up his emotions a critical incident in his youth emerges. He and his brother are chased home by bullies.

When his Mom comes out to help, they disrespect her and she "flips", yelling and screaming at the bullies to stop and go away. The Hotseat states his shock at seeing, for first time, one of his parents as vulnerable. We role play the event. Then we redo it and I am the mother donating a "scream, shout, get maximally angry" rock. we role play again and another tribe members offers to exchange a heart rock to the Hotseat. He accepts it and uses the heart rock to establish rapport with the bullies, acknowledging that they are bigger and can bully him. They get bored and quit. We check out of this process.

I am amazed at how easily the Hotseat has used amping up a form to realize a critical incident. I resolve to get better at this.

We do a final check out and the tribe leader adjourns the meeting.

"What do you want?"

At Tribe I report that I am not successful in system development. The Tribe leader keeps asking me "What do you want? I don't know what you want."

Friday, on the way home I realize I want to avoid uncertainty & "tough decisions" and "possibly not being right" and "possibly being criticized or scolded." So I take it easy – I do "easy" stuff that I can confidently handle.

I avoid working on "hard" tasks by imagining that they are complex, overwhelming, that "I don't know where to start", and that "I don't know what to do next". I successfully avoid these tasks at all costs because I might fail and get criticized if I don't do them "perfectly". These are my intentions.

So telling the Tribe what I want in terms of system development is tough – it would commit me to doing "hard" tasks and this is not my intention.

I look at my results and I realize I have succeeded with my intention of taking it "easy" but the cost is not much "hard", usually important, stuff done. I have stress at deadlines when issues are forced on me. Being forced to complete difficult tasks is my intention – I get to avoid tough tasks for as long as possible and when I am forced into crisis mode, I get to be a victim and get sympathy. If I fail, I get more sympathy: "Good guy, too bad, tough luck, you'll do better next time…" and I take it as approval of my process.


After this Tribe series, I see progress in doing smaller stuff that used to "set me off". This week I get the usual end-of-quarter requests for data items including some with substantial changes. These changes used to upset me – they were requests for something new that I might do wrong and get criticized for – so I would fret, try to avoid them, and get upset since the end-of-quarter rush would force me to work on them. However, this time I easily code changes, gather new data, and complete reports without drama – none – just quiet feelings of marvel and elation that this has happened.

I intend to continue TTP with the Austin Tribe to effect similar changes in my intentions for "hard" tasks so I can easily result them without drama.

I extend my thanks to the Austin Tribe and all Tribe members everywhere for continuing to develop TTP.

I resolve to have more willingness to feel all my feelings and to develop forms to find critical incidents.

I rephrase some of what stood out for me as I read FAQs this week: Since Intentions equals Results, I look at my Results to determine what my Intentions were (Wow!!) I develop my "respond-ability" – my ability to respond proactively (not medicinally) in the ever-evolving moment of now.

Thank you for sharing your process and for documenting your meeting.
Jul 12, 2014

Cartography of the Mind

Dear Ed,


I am sending you a re-drawing of the Cartography of the Mind.

I split your original drawing into two for ease of understanding. One file shows drama generation and the other one charts the reprogrammed TTP Rocks Process circuit.

Also I use colours and shapes which may convey their meaning more readily to the reader than the original drawing included in the TTP Extensions (on page 3/12).

I do my utmost to represent your diagram completely and not to miss out on any element. However, if you spot a mistake, please let me know and I'm happy to correct it. Of course, this is an unprotected MS Word document and you can make any change directly yourself as well.

With kind regards,

Your faithful student.

Medicinal Circuit

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Proactive Circuit

Thank you for sending me your rendition of the Cartography of the Mind.

You may see the images at full size at this link.

Jul 12, 2014

Couple of Links to Videos

Hi Ed,

I hope your day is a happy one and these brings you a chuckle.

Fumigator deals with musicians:

Carrie Underwood parody - Before He Trades:

Thank you for sharing the links.

The original Carrie Underwood tune:
Jul 11, 2014

Tribe Meeting Report

Dear Ed:

Our tribe meeting started ahead of time. In our initial show and tell we found several issues that were hot.

One of the members shared a letter he wrote about a very sensitive family matter. This was very touching and deeply impacted the group.

Another member felt stuck in developing his system. He had a lot of drama around it and was constantly stopping. He wished to stop the stopping. However, he did not know what the next step was and what the final result was. We went deeper and found that he had an issue with the possibility of loosing clients money when his system was in action. We did a lot of role playing with some of us being his clients and another person was his boss and another person was a competing trader. We enacted several dramas to bring up emotions and provide insight to the hot seat.

The next hot seat had issues dealing with employees. He felt he did not assert his authority and was too chummy with his employees. The employees were chatty and often missed getting projects done. Through role playing the hot seat developed resources to handle employees while sharing feeling and maintaining the employer - employee relationship.

After that we had a hot seat about an employee who felt fearful and blocked about going into his bosses office and doing small talk. He was jealous of his co-workers who were friendly with the boss. He felt awkward. Yet he also wanted to be more social in order to advance in his career. We did several demos with surrogates on interacting with the boss. After watching this the hot seat developed some new tools and agreed to try weekly interactions with his boss for the next four weeks and report to the tribe.

The final hot seat had an issue where he felt anger and strong push back toward events he did not like. As we went through TTP we found a form and intensified the form. The Hotseat went back to an incident where he and his brother were chased by bigger kids. They ran into their house and their mother came out. The bullies called the mother a bitch and she went crazy to push them back. She was the rock donor and tough the hot seat how to push back and go crazy when things went against them.

We then gave the hot seat the heart rock that allowed them to choose their response. The response they choose was to let the bullies hit them. Soon the bullies were bored and left. The hot seat felt a lot of freedom and relief around their shoulders.

The tribe meeting ended - we are all grateful to be part of the Austin tribe. This was the last meeting in Austin.

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

You might consider implementing the Heart Rock (eye contact, sharing and receiving feelings) as another resource.


may select victims
who refuse to connect.
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