Mastery of One's Self

Choose a quotation from a prominent historical figure that piques your intellectual curiosity. Explain why the selection interests you. (Maximum of 500 words)(Scholarship Essay)

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.”

--Leonardo da Vinci

There are only a small number of people who can claim to be the best in their field. The world is not overflowing with virtuosos, experts, and masters in any area of human endeavor. There are probably just as few people who have mastered their talents or become the best possible versions of themselves. It may be an impossible feat, requiring constant effort and a clear understanding of oneself, but it is something to strive for nonetheless.

Leonardo da Vinci’s quote interests me because he was a true master of so many subjects -- art, science, mathematics -- and one of history’s most innovative thinkers, the original Renaissance man. In these few words, he makes the bold assertion that what is truly important is being the best at being you and understanding yourself. This concept, while simple, is important to understand in the context of defining success in our lives.

Competition and winning is essential to many parts of our lives and a core tenet of our American way of life. I have learned that competition pushes me to always try to improve myself. Since elementary school, I have been taught to be competitive in all of my sports and...

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