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Barrett Kulik
Barrett Kulik

TEDxGeorgiaTech Speaker Series Features Scheller College Student Barrett Kulik

Scheller College undergrad student Barrett Kulik recently presented “Everyday Excellence: Redefining Your Own Par” as part of TEDxGeorgiaTech Speaker Series. Kulik shared with the TEDx audience his lifelong love of golf, his long-held goal of receiving a golf scholarship to college, and his childhood dream of becoming a pro. He related that though he worked “from sunrise to sunset” during high school to increase his skill he never received that golf scholarship. And while he ultimately gave up his childhood dream of turning pro, he hasn’t stopped pursuing excellence in all aspects of his life.

Using the example of a Par 5 in golf, Kulik shared, “we can see how those who embody excellence approach life.” In non-golfing terms, a Par 5 is a hole that is supposed to be achieved in five strokes and is the longest hole a golfer encounters on the course. Completing a Par 5 requires a detailed strategy to achieve each shot. With the Par 5 analogy, Kulik showed how those who strive for excellence in their everyday lives must be strategic and make many small decisions along the way to achieve their ultimate goal. “The question is, are the decisions that we make daily leading towards the destination that we’ve established?” asked Kulik.

He outlined three key aspects of achieving excellence; decision, direction, destination. “Our day-to-day decisions influence our direction and our direction ultimately leads to our destination,” he said. He recounted how Tiger Woods made a comeback and defied the odds to win the 2019 Masters Tournament. “His decisions made before the round affected his performance and direction throughout the tournament and ultimately led to his destination of winning the Masters.”

Kulik concluded his talk with a call to action. “I encourage you to take some time for yourself and think about your destination, your target, and what you want. It doesn't need to be a job title or an award but as simple as the kind of person you want to become and the kind of life you want to lead. Approach each decision and moment in life by focusing on how to execute. After all, the best bet you can make is on yourself. Life is a journey, a process and a beautiful one. Let’s challenge ourselves and those around us to live each day with excellence regardless of our chosen field or future endeavor.”

On the subject of his TEDxGeorgiaTech talk, Kulik says “I have been fascinated with the mindset and psychology that has led people to the top of their industry since high school. I wanted to finally compile all my research into a concise talk. TEDxGeorgiaTech afforded me that opportunity and platform.”

Kulik is a fourth-year Scheller College of Business student concentrating in Finance.

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