Let it hurt. Then get to work.

When I see Mikhail Baryshnikov dance, I cry.

When I hear Placido Domingo sing, I cry.

When I watch Michelle Kwan skate, I cry.

I cry, because watching a true master at work can be painful.

Painful, because it illuminates — with shocking, piercing accuracy — all of the ways in which I have chosen not to live up to my highest potential. All of the places where I am holding back. Marking time. Committing halfway. Giving my some — but not giving my all.

I enjoy this particular flavor of pain. I want the tears. I love the way that mastery startles me.

The way it forces me to assess my own life, make the necessary changes, re-commit to what matters.

I love feeling compelled to do better.

If you, as I often do, wonder why you are not yet the artist, the writer, the person that you could be …

Seek out the people who move you to tears. Watch them closely.

Let it hurt.

Then get to work.