There is a Quaker saying: "Let your life speak." Describe the environment in which you were raised-your family, home, neighborhood or community-and how it influenced the person you are today. (Required length is 200-250 words)
My brother and I have always been extraordinarily competitive about everything. This contest, beginning in my elementary years and lasting until high school, drove me to do the best I could in everything, so I could be better than him. In high school, when we both tried out for the science bowl team, we would try to outperform the other. We would compare our grades in the courses we both took to see who did better. I found myself driven solely by competition, and the only reason I was doing my best was to be better than my brother. After years of this contest being my motivator I felt empty and unfulfilled. I knew that the rivalry with my brother would be a never-ending competition. After realizing that, I stopped making everything into a competition. Instead of using external sources to motivate me, I found an intrinsic inspiration to fuel my fire. While I still have that competitiveness, I do not try my hardest in all that I do in order to please others or to be better than others, but because I feel this fundamental commitment and responsibility to do my best in all that I do. My motivation starts with me and radiates outward. As a result of my competitiveness with my brother in my youth, I have found that the intrinsic motivation to do my best, so I may help others, is much more fulfilling and has been one of my core principles ever since.