New Castle News

Tim Kolodziej

May 23, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: Five lessons from the ‘gas pump karaoke’ couple (with video)

NEW CASTLE — Consider this a warning.

Your cheeks are going to ache from smiling so much.

You’re going to be humming these songs until you go to bed tonight.

You might even bust a dance move in your office.

But that’s OK. Watch the accompanying video anyway.

After it’s finished, come back and read my blog below and I’ll share some thoughts on what you’re about to see.

Sound like a plan?




Wasn’t that one of the coolest videos you’ve seen?

Funny, entertaining, moving ... and educational.

Believe it or not, there’s plenty we can learn about life from the “Karaoke Couple” at the gas pump.

Here are five lessons I’ve jotted down:

1) Be bold and courageous — Sure, comfortable is ... well, comfortable. But without risk there’s not a lot of reward.

It’s safe to sit in the back of the classroom. It’s safe not to volunteer for a task at work. It’s safe not to try to learn a new skill.

It’s safe to say you are “too old” or “too young” or “not bright enough” or ... choose whichever description you wish.

But when you look back on your life, do you really want the word “safe” to describe your years on Earth?

The couple in the video stepped up and got down despite the risk of looking foolish.

Think they’ve had plenty to talk about over dinner since this video went viral?

I doubt the word “safe” has entered into those discussions.

The Lesson: You can be comfortable. Or you can be outstanding. But you can’t be both. Always choose outstanding.

2) Perform with passion and joy — Do you enjoy what you do?

If not, why not?

I understand that circumstances at your workplace or school aren’t always conducive to fun, but there should be a certain sense of joy and fulfillment if you are truly doing what God has created you to do.

If not, you’re in the wrong place.

You have been gifted. So have I. True joy comes from sharing those gifts to impact another’s life.

Can you even guess how many people have found joy from watching the “Karaoke Couple” perform? I can’t either.

But I’m guessing it’s even more than the 15 million people who have watched the clip so far.

The Lesson: Continue to dig deep for what makes you come alive when you do it. Then do it — and watch others come alive.

3) Perform for something greater than yourself — Maybe you’ll work for food. Or cut grass for cash.

In the video, Will Sims was willing to sing for a free tank of gas.

What’s your cause? Serving Christ on your job? Playing for your teammates? Knocking on doors for your political party?

Remember, it’s not about you. And it’s not about me.

It never is.

Someone is either benefiting — or suffering the consequences — from our efforts.

The Lesson: You’ve been gifted for something far bigger than fame or fortune. Fix your eyes on that when you step out of your comfort zone.

You’ll be amazed at what obstacles you can overcome.

4) Encourage a friend — We can’t do it alone. We’ve been created for community, whether it’s our family, our friends, teammates or co-workers.

The word “encouragement” literally means to “pour courage into another.”

How do you feel when a friend pumps you up? How does it feel to get an “atta-boy” or “atta-girl” from a supervisor, teacher or coach? How do you feel when someone close to you says “you can do it” or “I believe in you?”

That’s what Sims did for his wife, Monifa, in the clip.

We can all do the same.

The Lesson: When was the last time you sent a note or text of encouragement to a friend or family member? Try it today. I guarantee it will lift your spirits as well.

5) You will face opposition — OK, a week after the clip went bonkers on YouTube, media outlets began reporting that the video is a fraud.

Both Will and Monifa Sims are aspiring actors in Hollywood, and there’s plenty of talk that the “Tonight Show” staged the gas pump performance.

My first reaction: “Shame on Jay Leno” if it’s true.

My second reaction: So what? I loved it anyway.

The Lesson: No matter what road your passion leads you along, there will be plenty of speed bumps and detours. There will be plenty of people at the bottom pulling on your pant legs to bring you down.

Do your thing anyway.

But when you do, be sure to keep these five lessons handy:

•Be bold.

•Be passionate.

•Focus on a cause bigger than yourself.

•Encourage those traveling with you.

•And dismiss the naysayers.

After all, you never know when 15 million people might be watching you.

May as well make ’em smile.


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Tim Kolodziej