Asking questions of yourself is the best way to direct your mind, as I've said elsewhere. The last time I watched the movie Rudy (for probably the 12th time), I grasped anew the power of questions. That was the first time I ever noticed Rudy's question in the movie. Twice in the movie, while he is trying to achieve a goal others view as impossible, Rudy asks of his mentor, "Have I done all I can?"
The thing that most impresses me with this true story is how absolutely focused on his goal Rudy stays, no matter what setbacks he runs into. He is committed. He is so committed it is inspiring. I said aloud to the two people watching with me, "What would happen if we were as committed to our goals as he is to his?"
Afterwards, I was thinking about it and I realized asking Rudy's question would do it. If we asked that question of ourselves several times a day, our behavior would look to others as if we were impressively and inspiringly committed to our goal.
I've been asking Rudy's question, and it has changed me. The question makes me more committed and more motivated.
This question calls to mind more than just work, because there is always more work you can do. But have you set your goal? Have you written it down? Have you envisioned it clearly and repeatedly? Have you communicated your goal to people who can help you? Have you put out all the effort you can? Have you maintained a great attitude while working toward your goal? Are you been getting enough sleep and eating right and exercising? Have you done all you can to accomplish your goal?
Let Rudy's question provoke you and motivate you every day. Use it to raise your mood. One of the most reliable ways to stay in a great mood is to live in a continuous state of purposefulness and accomplishment. Rudy's question can get you there.
Adam Khan is the author of Self-Help Stuff That Works and Cultivating Fire: How to Keep Your Motivation White Hot.