The other day I was trying to explain the concept of te to a good friend. Te, pronounced sort of like "duh", is really, really, hard to understand.
Directly, one might say that Te is "virtue", or "morality", or even more loftily "power". The Tao te Ching literally translates to "The book of the Way and its power."
None of which really cover it. All those things make it sound very inaccessible, high, and mighty.
But te isn't like that. Te is doing what you can, mindfully, presently, without letting fear or doubt stop you. In fact, it's really the very doing of such a thing, precisely when fear and doubt tell you otherwise. It's not so much being brave - it's doing what you can, without letting what you think you can't do get in your way. Like Piglet, when he went for help after Owl's tree house fell over on The Very Blustery Day. Piglet has amazing te. So much so, that there's a great book about this called The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff.
That was when I realized I had a perfect example of te from my recent trip to Chicago. I sang karaoke for my first time ever, in front of a group of mostly complete strangers. I'm pretty brash and ballsy about a lot of things, I'm not afraid to do public speaking. (I even enjoy it!) But singing, on a stage, that's another thing altogether.
But I just took a deep breath, picked a song I wanted, and ran full-tilt boogie towards the thing I feared.
It turned out pretty good too.