If you haven't read Yang-Chu, I recommend it. Yang-Chu is considered one of the early voices of Daoism (300 BCE), a voice for wuwei.

His ideas are recorded in the seventh section of the Leizi (Lieh-Tzu). It's a short section and you can read it on-line here.

Yang-Chu said, all we are is a body and a story. It isn't much but applying his minimalism is useful for cutting through hype.

Yang-Chu didn't reject qi, or wealth, or pleasure--to him these are just relative ways of describing experience. He seems a little anti-fame, but that's because he sees freedom in the possibility of changing our story and fame has a tendency to lock us into our stories. We definitely have a body which moves around, thinks, and changes. And we tell all kinds of stories.

It is hardly ever the body that stops people from developing great martial arts skills, it is usually the story that gets in the way.

Most modern people find discussions of fate kind of silly. Like dude, I'm free, right? Yang-Chu cuts through all that. You do have a body, and it does have limitations. Those limitations are not always known, but they do shape our life and our experience of life. Our body does have a fate, or put another way, our fate does have a "shape."

Our story also has limitations, fate. Tell too wacky a story and you'll get yourself locked up. But even if you are walking around with a bad reputation, you are still pretty free to change your story. That freedom to change our story also suggests that we might be able to discard our story or cut it down to a nice manageable size.

The book Blink talks about a guy in Oregon who studied couples on video and developed a scoring system based on observations that could tell him with 90% accuracy if a given couple would still be together in 15 years. When I first heard this I was in shock for a few days. Why was I bothering with all the little details, like doing the dishes and "communicating" if almost all the significant data was in a 15 minute video interview? Is it possible that we really don't have free will?

Anyway, I would really like to get a video scoring system to determine whether or not a student is going to practice everyday, or if they will still be studying gongfu in like 10 years. Heck, I'd like to score myself!

We should definitely be offering discounts to people who have the FATE to practice everyday. What is your fate?