#870 December 27, 2017
  • Feature: Do You Move Toward Your Goals or Away from What You Don’t Want?, by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
  • Workshops: Save $200 on Peak 101 During Our 20% Off Sale!
  • Tips: Goals Stated as a Well-Formed Outcome: The Super Trader Program Example, by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
  • FREE BOOK!: Trading Beyond the Matrix
Just a Few Things to Get 2018
Off to A GREAT Start!

Isn't it amazing how fast this year has flown by? As we prepare to move into the new year, many of us will set goals and vow to renew our ambitions for the coming year.

Today we’d like to revisit a couple great Van Tharp articles to help support readers and their goals.

At The Van Tharp Institute, we measure our success by the people we help. Whether you write to us, or come to us in person, we never tire of hearing from you! So many of you tell us about the amazing transformational journeys you have taken as a result of Van’s work. We are grateful for you. It is an honor to be part of your lives, even in a small way.

Look forward to many new things to come in 2018! We will host several brand new workshops, starting in April 2018. We have a few slots opening in the Super Trader program early 2018. Van is very excited about the new webinar on cryptocurrencies - one of our first on the topic. We will present workshops at two international locations in 2018: Sydney in March and London in October. We will also be launching our new website this year, release information about the development of a new trading game, and we have plans to release several new elearning courses throughout the new year.

Thank you for subscribing and we look forward to hearing from you and or seeing you in 2018!

Feature Article

Do You Move Toward Your Goals
or Away from What You Don’t Want?
by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
Van Tharp
One of the most critical exercises in my Peak Performance Home Study Course is the value elicitation exercise in the third volume. Tony Robbins does a very expensive workshop in Fiji on this process, but the complete instructions for doing it by yourself are in the Peak Performance Home Study Course. However, I’ve noticed that exercise is primarily for people who move toward their goals.

People who move toward their goals, once they spend a few days doing the value elicitation exercise will find that they have a complete picture of what’s important to them. However, people who move away from things might not be as satisfied with the results because they may have negative values such as avoiding failure or rejection or abandonment.

As a result, I’ve prepared the following test to help you out.

Before reading any further, take the test (there are only 4 questions), and write down the answers that come to you first.

1. What are three things you look for when you buy a car?

  1. ________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________

2. Why do you want your three most important goals in life?

  1. ________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________

3. Are you more likely to move toward what you want or away from what you don’t want?


4. If you were to buy a dog, what three qualities would you look for?

  1. ________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________

To evaluate this test, notice whether your responses tended to be positive or negative. For positive values put a plus sign in the space next to your answers. For negative values put a minus sign in the space next you your answer. The illustrations below will help you decide whether your answer is positive or negative.

For example, for question 1:

  • “I wanted a car that wasn’t in the shop all the time like my last clunker.” This is a negative response. If your reason sounds like that, put a negative sign by it.

  • “I really liked the design of the car.” This is a positive response; put a positive sign by it.

For question 2:

  • “I want to be a successful trader so I don’t have a stupid boss breathing down my back.” This is a negative response because the motivation is to get away from your boss. Put a negative sign by any like this.
  • “I want the freedom to have my own hours, do what I want, and make unlimited income.” This is a move toward goal so put a plus sign by it.

For question 3:

If you answered "move toward," put a plus sign by it. If you answered "move away from", put a minus sign by it.

For question 4 notice whether you are looking for positive or negative qualities:

  • "I want a dog that doesn’t shed." This is avoiding something so put down a negative sign.

  • "I want a dog that’s really loyal and smart." This is a positive quality, so put a plus sign by your answer.

Now add up your plus and minus signs. If you have six or more plus signs, then you tend to be a "move toward" person. If you have six or more minus signs, then you tend to be a "move away from" person. If you are a "move toward" person, then the value elicitation exercise in the course will have the most value for you. And I’m assuming that most traders are "move toward" people. On the other hand, if you are a "move away from" person, then looking at what values you most want to avoid may have great benefit for you. If that’s you, then instead of listing all the positive things you want, list all the things you most want to avoid and do the same exercise as it is in the Peak Performance Course.

In addition, you may want to explore why you are a “move away from” person. Changing that could have a major effect on your success. But that’s the topic of another article.
20 Percent Off Sale ENDS FRIDAY!
All Van Tharp products are currently 20% off but these deals will not be around much longer. If you were on the fence about purchasing, this is your chance to start off 2018 on the right foot. Kick your trading education into high gear! Click on the link below to find out more about the products we have on sale.
Cryptocurrencies Webinar January 12th!
I am only opening this webinar to our newsletter subscribers — not the general public. This material requires the adoption of a certain level of market psychology, and even if you have thus far only read my weekly newsletter, Tharp’s Thoughts, the concepts we share here are enough to engage in the call. For example, as a newsletter reader you likely have a basic understanding of concepts like:

  • You don’t trade the markets, you trade your beliefs about the markets.
  • Or, how YOU are the most important factor in your trading and that taking personal responsibility for all of the things that happen in life.

These concepts, and the other Tharp Think principles that I have shared over the years, lead you to be empowered in the markets. This collection of articles, distributed weekly, arms you with more knowledge than the general public has about their own beliefs. Understanding and adopting these types of beliefs are crucial before you consider stepping into the virtual currency markets. Most people will lose their shirts in this area because as many as 70-80% of the coins and tokens out there could be scams. One of the top performers in 2017 has risen $0.12 to over $400 but it is an obvious scam and we’ll discuss that one in particular. You have to be able to avoid the scams.

In this webinar, I will cover how cryptocurrencies line up with my teachings about infinite wealth. I’ve heard that many people are saying that cryptocurrencies are not real, they’re just something other people made up. To that end, no money is real. It’s all something someone made up! Almost all currencies in the world today are fiat currencies. That means nothing backs them up, not gold or any other physical commodity. A piece of paper we call a dollar bill is worth something only because the government says it’s legal tender and we all agree. Ideas like this are part of understanding infinite wealth. It’s all about playing a game. The games are all made up and if you get that, then you can make your own game with your own rules and win! This is the basic psychology of inner wealth.

This is your chance to participate in something exciting with like-minded traders, including many of our Super Traders! I hope you will be able to join us for this opportunity!

Can't make it for that day/time?

No problem! We will have it recorded. Please go ahead and register now anyway. Then you will get a few reminder emails which you can ignore since you know you can’t be on the call. However, your final email will be after the webinar and will have the link to the recording.
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Trading Tip

Goals Stated as a Well-Formed Outcome:
The Super Trader Program Example
by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
Van Tharp
When you have goals, you typically produce some sort of result through acting on them. If you want these goals to produce effective end ecological1 results, however, then the goals must fit the criteria of being well-formed.

These are a set of five conditions for goal outcomes, established through the NLP community. They include:

  • The outcome must be stated in positive terms. Generally, it is practically and logically impossible to set a goal which is expressed in terms of the negative of an experience. So if someone said, “I don’t want to argue with my wife,” then a better approach is find out what the person wants instead of the negative experience. For example, it might be stated instead as: "I want to feel positive about whatever my wife does knowing she had a good heart and great intentions." That’s much easier to achieve that the negative experience of not arguing.

  • The outcome must be testable and demonstrable — in other words, stated in terms of sensory specific evidence. Thus, you need to know through evidence you can perceive that you are moving toward your results so your goal must state how that will be accomplished. Ideally, two criteria are necessary: 1) to be clear about how you will know you have achieved the outcome for yourself, and 2) how will others in your life know that you have achieved the outcome.

  • The desired state must be initiated and maintained by the student, not the coach. The locus of control must be with the student which is usually in the form of accessing resources. So, if someone said, “I want my wife to stop criticizing me and telling me to get a real job,” that outcome would be out of the person’s control. Instead, the person would need to state a positive outcome such as determining what the wife might being doing instead of criticizing you and saying to get a real job. The answer also needs to be demonstrable, as described above. Then you need to determine what resources are necessary to achieve that outcome, with those resources being in the client’s control.

  • The goal must preserve any positive by-products of the present state. Those positive by-products tend to be negative habits (i.e., drinking too much) that are used to achieve the positive state (i.e., feeling relaxed). So whatever is being done must also preserve the relaxation that is desired or the person might just go back or develop other bad habits to achieve them. For example, many people who are obese may have an issue with the opposite sex and feel unattractive. What would happen if they felt they were attractive and were then approached by people of the opposite sex? If their goal was to “become attractive,” then they would need the resources to be able to deal with that particular issue. In addition, the goal must be able to deal with any future impacts of the desired outcome. So what will the person's system gain or lose as a result of achieving the desired outcome. For example, if you become a successful trader, what are the ramifications of achieving that? What if you have issues with having a lot of money — for example, what if you believe that people will take advantage of you; cheat you; or if you believe that rich people abuse their families. The new outcome must be able to deal with those possibilities.

  • Finally, the desired outcome must be appropriately contextualized and be ecologically sound — i.e. taking into account your other responsibilities, the people around you, etc. For example, if you state your outcome using a universal quantifier such as (all, always, never), you may find situations in which the outcome desired is not appropriate. I always want to follow my trading rules, however, you might find conditions in which your trading rules might stop working, such as when the market type changes. So you must be able to contextualize the outcome. A good way of understanding that is that most beliefs, no matter how bad they might seem, might have some context is which they are useful. Similarly, most beliefs have contexts in which they are not useful.

Establishing a Well-Formed Outcome for the Super Trader Program

So now let’s look at the Super Trader program as a goal (i.e., to become a Super Trader) with a well-formed outcome. So here is my version of it.

  • The Super Trader program will produce massive transformation to enable candidates to be able to follow the Tharp Think principles, develop a great business handbook to run a trading business, and develop three non-correlated trading systems (that work in different market types) that they trade profitably and at 95% or higher efficiency.

This statement still needs a little more detail to flesh out the well-formed conditions. It is definitely stated as a positive outcome.

So how is the outcome testable and demonstrable? How do we know the outcome is achieved and that progress is being made?

Outcome One: Five Major Transformations

I talked about these transformations in a recent article about the Super Trader program.

  • First, I expect a candidate’s awareness and level of consciousness (pretty much synonymous) to increase during the program. We measure this by the happiness test. By the end of Super Trader 1, I would like their happiness score to be consistently above 60 (although 70 is better). This is measurable.
  • Second, I would like them to consider that their beliefs are useful (within a context) and not absolute. I would also like them to understand how they can easily change their beliefs. This would be demonstrated by numerous examples.
  • Third, negative states should be observed and witnessed and then accepted. Acceptance is a metastate which tends to change the basic state to a much higher level, however, I want them also to have some mastery over feeling release. When I see evidence of this sufficiently in their weekly reports, then I know it is accomplished.
  • Next, I’m looking for their ability to converse with their Higher Self and to do Transformational Meditation on issues that come up. Examples of this would include daily dialogues with their Higher Self and successful completion of Libby Adams 28 day course.
  • Finally, I’d like them to find their purpose in life and to be certain that they have actually found their purpose.
  • And naturally, all these transformations will lead to numerous personal transformations.

These are demonstrated on an ongoing basis through the successful completion of the Super Trader lessons and their weekly progress reports. There are currently 20 lessons in the new Super Trader 1.

Outcome Two: Develop a Trading Business Rooted in A Strong Business Handbook that proves they have a strong psychological foundation and find the resources to solve any problems that arise

  • This is demonstrated by the satisfactory completion of their business handbook that meets all the criteria given to them for the handbook. Most of those criteria are given in Trading Beyond the Matrix.
  • In addition, they will demonstrate this goal on an ongoing basis through the completion of the lessons in Super Trader 2.

Outcome Three: Develop Three Non-Correlated Systems that Work in Various Market Types

  • This outcome is easily demonstrated through their presentation of each of their systems, to include the beliefs behind the system; the logic behind the system; why it will work in certain market types and not work in other types; and whatever statistics they can present on the performance of the system.

Outcome Four: Trade the Systems Profitably at 95% Efficiency or Better.

  • Demonstration of this is obvious through monthly trading logs showing their profits and losses and mistakes made. And when they have 100 trades, meeting the criteria, with at least 10 from each system, then they are eligible for graduation.

Outcome Five: Demonstrate that they have developed the skill to handle any new psychological roadblocks that might come up during ST 2 and ST 3.

  • This is demonstrated through weekly reports about roadblocks that come up and how they handle it.
  • Its culmination is graduation.

So How is the Program Maintained by the Student?

This one is fairly easy because Super Trader candidates do the work and send in the lessons and weekly reports. If they don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. My job as their coach is to answer questions, help them get through difficult times when they ask for help (primarily on their psychological issues), and to make sure they do a good job on the lessons. Doing a good job on the lessons is critical for their progress.

It’s all about having the appropriate resources to accomplish each task. Generally, a good coach helps clients by asking questions. I noticed recently in watching videos of Dr. L. Michael Hall’s metacoaching program that about 90% of what a good coach does is ask questions. And the questions are all about helping the client find their own resources.

How Does the Program Deal with the Positive By-Products of Where they are now and with the Future Implications of What will happen when their achieve their goals?

One difference between the Super Trader program and the normal NLP client coach relationship is that our goals are huge and involve finding and tackling many issues. For example, one lesson requires that they identify and evaluate the impact of about 400 identity level beliefs. This finds and overcomes many issues before they ever could arise in the program. Another lesson requires that they come up with a complete life history, including beliefs formed and issues that might have come up in the past. Again, this helps them identify demons well before they arise in the Super Trader Program. And finally we have at least four lessons that deal with negative states or resources that they must process. As a result, when they complete all of this work we expect that very few issues will come up during trading that they have not already dealt with.

In addition, when they complete ST1, they must also respond to a number of questions to show that they are capable of facing whatever issues might come up when they start applying what they have learned to the program. This turns the application sections, developing a trading business, developing three systems, and trading efficiently into an applied psychological exercise.

How is the Program Appropriately Contextualized and Ecologically Sound?

First, trading is contextualized in the program as the candidates’ full time job (if it isn’t already) or at least a major supplement to their income. Thus, the whole program lies within the context of a major aspect of their lives, not some minor problem area.

Second, they will complete an extensive program of evaluating their beliefs using a certain context and not in others. And they will have learned that there are probably no absolute beliefs that apply to all situations. Context is rooted in their educational process.

Third, one of the major transformations is to find their life’s purpose and to have trading fit within that context. Finding one’s purpose generally changes most people’s lives and when trading becomes part of that context, it almost guarantees a sound ecology check.

Finally, everyone in the program learns that trading is simply a measure of their spiritual growth. Here spirituality is defined as a larger system — family, community, global, universal. It’s an inner journey of discovering who they are. Once again, this context becomes a huge ecological check.


If this information about using well-formed goals is new to you, I encourage you to begin to implement this practice for current goals in your life. I recently restructured the Super Trader Program (see last week’s article), and I have personally found the well-formed goal questions very impactful in this process!

  1. The ecology check is a key step in every NLP technique. It essentially involves assessing the impact that a particular change of behavior will have on the rest of the system or systems of which the person is a part.
January 2018 - US
Our $700 Early Bird Discounts on These Two January Workshops...End Soon!
How do you know when you have it?

Most of all, can you see yourself becoming infinitely wealthy?

In Van’s upcoming Infinite Wealth workshop, you will learn all about the subject of true wealth
creation. Over three intense days, Van will share with you what he has learned after modeling
the wealth building process. He has become infinitely wealthy himself, and is ready to help you
discover more about your relationship with money and what you need to change in order to
create infinite wealth in your own life.

As you can imagine, this is not a workshop on technical strategies or techniques.
Rather, this course is about YOU.

Your mindset…

Your beliefs…

Your psychological relationship to money.
Attend in the US in January or in Australia in March!
"Finally finding a purpose! I have been rushing through my daily life and never had the time to think and focus. To have someone guiding you on the way to find your own path was incredible. Much less frustration than before. An extra plus was that there were more 'professional' traders in this course." —Fredrick Bodecker

"Glad I came! Too many areas of enlightenment [to write in] this space. Overall, I am walking away with a new look at my thought process." —Michael Herlehy, CO

Note: Peak Performance 101 is a prerequisite to Peak 202. If you have not taken Peak 101 register for the US event in February or the Australian even in March. Then you will be qualified to attend the advanced peak performance workshops.

Workshop Schedule

February 2018 - US
Enroll in Peak Performance 101 during this 20% off sale and take an additional
$200* off the price of the workshop.
Use coupon code SALE.
*Good for both US and AU locations. Cannot be combined with workshop packages or other discounts. Can be used with early enrollment discount.

Peak Performance 101 is Dr. Tharp's core psychological workshop, and his most transformative course for over 25 years. If you want to know how great traders think, behave and act so you can achieve consistent and profitable results, without stress, then this workshop is for you. Plus, this is a qualifying workshop for traders to apply for the Super Trader Program.
In just three days you’ll see how all of Van Tharp ’s strategic trading concepts fit into one seamless design for more predictable trading results. Your trading will never be the same.
This course illustrates the relationships among the steps so that the process is logical and reasonable. Moreover, you will learn how to take each step experientially, so you really get it. Dr. Tharp is an expert in delivering elicitation questions to bring forth each person’s most important issues.
March 2018 - Sydney, Australia
Enroll in Peak Performance 101 during this 20% off sale and take an additional
$200* off the price of the workshop.
Use coupon code SALE.
*Good for both US and AU locations. Cannot be combined with workshop packages or other discounts. Can be used with early enrollment discount.
April 2018 - US
May 2018 - US

The Super Trader Summit is in December.

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