More life advice – What to do when your life feels planned for you.

Get to know Ori, good deeds, Information, Inspiration, opinion, rant, Tutorials 2 Comments »

The last time someone reached out for tips on life, and I shared it, the personal thank-you messages that I got were overwhelming. The other day I got a pretty heavy letter from Dubai. I am sharing the letter, and my response, in hopes that it will help others out. Feel free to share this post.

The Letter:

Hello… I hope very much that you can read this, as at the moment I’m in a bit of a pathetic dilemma. I would firstly like to admit that I am not a devoted fan to your blog, so I understand if you want to allocate your time answering somebody who is. But from what I have seen, you seem to be living life with the care-free attitude that I so desperately need right now. Maybe if the good samaritan within you is glowing and time allows, you can help me…

Soo, a bit about me… Read the rest of this entry »

You win some, you lose some.

Get to know Ori, rant 2 Comments »

A cool painting by Ori Bengal

First of all, I think I just made my best drawing to date last night. I’m excited about that, as I’ve been posting a drawing a day (AT LEAST one) since April 23rd, haven’t missed a day, and I think the results are starting to show. So… this blog post is about sticking with things, through the good and the bad… ’cause let’s face it – there’s orgasmic days, and then there’s days when it rains shit on your parade.

Actually…. I got a better way of saying it ” Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug!”

Things have been going really well, and I’ve felt a bit superhuman… In my recent post on my trip to Chicago, I told you how I figured out what aspects of my life I want to improve.  The day I got back to Austin, I signed up for Capoeira. 3 weeks later, I got my 1st belt!

This was NOT an easy feat… but it was worth it for me, ’cause I didn’t wait to wait 6-12 months… How did I do it?

Simple! I just  Read the rest of this entry »

I found the secret to success in Chicago

adventure, design, Get to know Ori, Inspiration, product review, travel 4 Comments »

I’ve been trying to better myself for a long long time… I think we all do.  We read books on weight loss or business or people skills…  we take courses on goal setting and time management… and yet, it seems most of us go back to our normal routine (Don’t believe me? It’s been proven that the average new year’s fitness resolution is broken in about 3-4 days).   23% of resolutions are actually kept.  35% are broken before January is up.

We know how to lose weight (burn up more calories than we ingest), yet… most of us are upset about our excess weight.  Knowing doesn’t seem to be enough.  Aftr trying so many times, we just give up and claim something like “Well, it’s my genes,” or “I come from a fat family, there’s nothing I can do.”

This doesn’t apply to just weight… it applies to so many parts of our lives.We just give up, put our dreams and goals on the shelf, and make an excuse.  We think that we were not meant to have that particular thing in our lives.

I’ve given up on drawing so many times in my life. I wanted to be an artist since I was a kid.  I’d always quit  though… ’cause it took a lot of work, not just spending money on fancy brushes.  Recently, I made this image, and I’ll tell you how I was able to do it in this post.

I’ve tried just about everything, and I’m fairly sure I found an approach for accomplishing anything, that works (for me).  I discovered it in Costa Rica in late 2010… but I did not take action until this year– but boy, am I glad that I did!

Read the rest of this entry »

My way of changing the world – take 1

adventure, announcements, business, Get to know Ori, good deeds, Inspiration, News 47 Comments »

My way of changing the worldConsidering that my reputation is one of being helpful, you’d never know that as a kid I was a shoplifter, a vandal, I blew frogs up with fireworks, and I was a jerk to many people – even my parents.

Good becomes bad, bad becomes good… where I used to cause trouble, I now work on helping. Whether it’s cheering up the sad, bringing families together, giving lectures to raise funds for the sick, making websites to raise a few thousand for a young poodle that needs an expensive surgery…. I now bat for the good guys.

I’ll remind you that good and evil are only opinions—history decides who the good guys are… and the ones whom the world consider to be bad, always consider themselves to be good. Thus, the guys who flew planes into the Twin Towers, they considered themselves to be freedom fighters.

We choose what’s right and wrong in our eyes. I’ll come back to that in a second.

You see, good and bad aren’t the only priorities that have shifted in my life.

For 6 years I have couch surfed (traveled around, based on who’s couch I’m crashing on next), and my priorities were meeting new people, and having adventures.

Traveling for 6 years can rack up a large tab.

I’m going to tell you how I paid for it, as you can do the same if you choose. More importantly though was that this journey has absolutely transformed my life- and I’ll discuss that too.

At first my parents contributed gas money. Then, after a year, they realized that this is not just a phase, and they withdrew their assistance. They wanted me to settle down and get a job (and get active in making some grand kids for them), but my travels were too much fun, and I was not going to quit.

I have not told this story to many people, it’s very personal, and I’m a bit twitchy to share it… but recently my best friends have busted me on not being intimate with anybody in my life… so here’s me pouring my secrets, so you can have an appreciation of the magnitude of things when I get to my point—and trust me, there is a point. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear blog…. we need to catch up.

adventure, announcements, business, Couches, Get to know Ori, good deeds, humor, Information, Interviews, party, rant 3 Comments »

Long night tonight? It’s about to be – I am feeling pretty inspired… and since I’m just putting this creative energy to use by being snarkee on Facebook.Telling you what all’s new– ’cause it’s some serious stuff- not just new stickers on my laptop (Though, I do have a few of those too!).

At productivity workshops, you sometimes see the video about the big rocks… Here, found one:

(I can’t believe that while trying to talk about productivity, I just spent as much time as I did to find this friggin video! Sheesh!) -

Big rocks first?  (Take a deep breath- have a seat – this is a bombshell)-

I’m renting a place.

Yeah… you heard correctly, Read the rest of this entry »

Battle of the bulge

adventure, humor, video No Comments »

Eating Donuts at Gordoughs Trailer in AustinThis is me on my diet…. I am eating the largest donuts that I’ve ever come across. And I”m supposed o get a 6-pack.

Y’all have seen me go through all sorts of diets. My standup comedy routine mocked my recent juice fast, and now I’m eating about 180 Grams of protein a day, no carbs, no fruit, no dairy.  Just meat, veggies, eggs, and a ton of leafy green veggies.

On my birthday, I was the only one who didn’t have cake nor booze.

It was on a Friday… On Sundays however… I am encouraged to binge on carbs for an hour…. So Read the rest of this entry »

Bucketlist item – Standup Comedy

adventure, Get to know Ori, humor 7 Comments »

My very 1st stand up comedy performance

My very 1st stand-up routine ever!

And then the Rabbi said “Out of What?” Laughter erupts, and then a bunch of people ask “How the hell do you remember all these jokes? Do you do standup?” Then I lose some of my pep, and it seems I get a little shorter, “nah… I don’t do stand up.” “Why not?” “I Read the rest of this entry »

Have no regrets – don’t listen to people.

Inspiration, opinion, rant 11 Comments »
Regrets, these are not the droids you are looking for.

Don't have regrets

Regrets are a bitch. You never hear about old people on their death bed saying “I sure wish I spent more time at the office” it’s always stuff about “Wish I traveled the world, like I wanted”  “Wish I worked less, and spent more time with my family”  “Wish I took up guitar playing”.

So why the hell do we listen to people when they tell us Read the rest of this entry »

Things I’m grateful for…

announcements No Comments »

I haven’t written in my blog since Maui. Heck, didn’t write much from Maui… which might make someone think that nothing much has been going on.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. EVERYTHING has been going on.

SOME of the things (I don’t know that I could list them all)… Read the rest of this entry »

Goodbye Maui, Thanks for the sunset.

adventure, photography 2 Comments »

Maui Sunset by Ori BengalKyle said “I’m glad you liked Hawaii. Its a very powerful place. Visiting Hawaii helped me to appreciate the basic things to be grateful for.”

I replied “You speak truth! The things I’ve learned have been really deep life changing lessons… and I stumbled across them without having to do something really stupid and painful for once :)

There’s so much to say — and so much to blog about.  I can’t believe the stuff that happened “inside” while I’ve been here.  I can’t believe 2.5 months has gone by already.

I can’t believe that I haven’t had a car in that long, and haven’t noticed.

I got a plane to catch, but I thought I’d share a photo I took of my last sunset — 1/2 a mile from where I was staying.

Aloha!  Big blog post coming next week about Hawaii.

p.s. click on the picture to see it in more detail.

How to know what to do with your life…

business, Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Marketing Lessons, opinion, rant 23 Comments »

“Hey I just wanted to ask you how you knew what you wanted to do with your life? I am a 24 year old female and have no idea what I want to do career wise. I am intelligent but don’t know what I am really good at and get frustrated easily working for other people. I have tried MLM and IM and really love it but haven’t made any money so get demotivated very quickly. I am confused.com so just wanted to know if you have any tips on how to change the path I am taking.”

I thought the reply was something that anyone can benefit from, regardless of age or occupation, so I’m posting it on my blog.  I suggest you share this- someone will appreciate it.

It’s a patented multi-step process that took me years to perfect, but I’ll share it with you, ’cause you seem cool.

Step 1: Read the rest of this entry »

Drink THIS

adventure, humor, video 4 Comments »

That much onion – and she pointed at 1/4 of an onion she sliced – and peel these (6 large cloves of Garlic) and don’t forget this dropper… only a FEW drops of the cayenne….

Buying cough syrup would be simpler, but Terra said this will probably cure me in about 12 hours.

Terra’s site is Time and Truffles

Lie to me… tell me how we met.

humor, Inspiration 2 Comments »

That’s what she wrote.  Then she wrote:

We met at a U2 concert in New Delhi, India. You were walking backwards & stopped to light my cigarette w/ your Elvis Zippo. We became instant friends. You were Indian and I was American. You loved to take advantage of my ignorance and told me that chai was some magical potion that would make me feel like I was flying. You took me to your chai walla and bought me a glass. My head spun and I fell into your arms, your dirty fingers to my lips. “Shhhhhh…,” you whispered, “here comes a dragon.”

Will serendipity ever show an end?  I think and hope not.  You see, just recently, over the past two months, I’ve mentioned to a few friends that I’d love to get into writing short stories.  Just random ones… maybe make a form that people can submit raw ideas… like what you do with an improv troupe…. and I’d flesh out the story.  Only an hour or two a day.

This was a wonderful opportunity.  How we met immediately came to me, and this was my response:

I don’t remember being Indian… I thought it was in Spain… when I was wearing my rainbow bright socks, and a sweatband while rollerskating (yeah… quads) the wrong way while everyone else was running from the bulls…. you threw down a massive chain of salami links from the 2nd story, and swung me to safety. When I finished climbing through the window, I took my skates off, caught by breath, and jumped on you in gratitude… which was when the aged floor crumbled under the combined weight, and we fell through into the marshmallow fluff factory below. A sticky situation indeed. The rest of the evening was spent drinking good Spanish wine, enjoying pleasant conversation about our mutual world travels, and trying to remove the remaining fluff.

Lisa and I became fast friends… speaking in our first conversation as if we’ve been friends forever. Many personal topics were broached.  Many personal questions were asked.  Many stories of world travels were shared.

For those people out there who try to differentiate between Social Media, and the real world.. I urge you not to.  Sure, you can do certain things in person that you can’t do over the web… but the people out there– they are your friends, your lovers, your clients, your audience, your believers, your community.  And you can always meet up in person later.

Are there memorable people that you’ve connected with instantly through Facebook?

Breaking in and installing a store

business, Marketing Lessons, rant 3 Comments »

I saw this the other day-

Silly, right? Crappy acting, and the concept– “Yeah… like someone’s going to break into my house and set up a computer store in my living room just so I can pick out which one I want. Are they going to clean up afterwards?”

But I thought I realized I had to share it, because the concept is NOT that ridiculous! In fact, it’s important for your business.

No, I don’t mean you should get a Windows 7 PC, it’s not about that at all.

There are three sides to this: Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing Ori’s Stories

announcements, Get to know Ori, humor, Information, video 2 Comments »

I am a natural story teller.. it’s “my thing”- so… I’ve decided to start telling you some of my stories. Many of these have nothing to do with couch surfing, although, everything I’ve done in my life has lead me to where I am today.

Hit play, sit back, enjoy, and of course, leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

READING The Epic Tale of One Way Ticket to Maui

adventure, business, Couches, events, good deeds, humor, Inspiration, photography, product review, travel No Comments »

This is me reading out loud the way I got to Hawaii… and all the crazy stories that happened along the way. Thought I’d see how people like having it read for them.

Click the play button, or download it to your mp3 player of choice.
[wpaudio url="http://couchsurfingori.com/wp-content/uploads/movies/05-25-201-The-Epic-Tale-of-One-way-ticket-to-maui.mp3" text="Reading of The Epic Tale of 1 Way Ticket to Maui"]

The Epic Tale of One Way Ticket to Maui

adventure, business, Couches, events, good deeds, humor, Inspiration, photography, product review, travel 3 Comments »

Had to hit the beach within minutes of getting to Maui, with Craig Allen, and Terra Ganem“What are you doing for the next 2 months?”

“Seriously?  I hardly  know what I’m doing next week.”

“Over the last 2 weeks I’ve been thinking about that business idea you mentioned the other month… a lot… and you’re working Terra’s website anyways– why don’t I buy you a 1 way ticket, come stay with us, and if you want to get back, you have to finish the project, and get some sales!”

“Well, damn! For story-telling purposes alone, I have to say yes!”

And thus, I agreed to come visit Craig Allen and Terra Rose Ganem in Hawaii….  Read the rest of this entry »

Hell Run can go to Hell

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hellrun.com-Leaping over FireI love serendipity – So many insane stories of it lately, that I can barely keep up.  Running in the HellRun.com Hell Run obstacle race was one of those things…..

One minute I’m being reminded that I said I’d run in an obstacle race, and have not taken any action on it (i.e. flaked out), and 2 hours later, I get a text out of the blue asking if I can run in an obstacle race to cover for my friend who already bought the ticket.

Yup.  I love serendipity.

What I don’t love however, is people not delivering on their promises. And Hell Run certainly did not do that!

You see, on their website, they have photos of people covered in mud… yet nobody got anything more than their ankles muddy… and even that was weak.

I’ll tell you the things they did, but when I get to the last one, you’ll see why I bothered to  write this post! Read the rest of this entry »

How to extract your video from a stream of videos

business, events, Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Interviews, Marketing Lessons, Tutorials, video No Comments »

The other day I spoke at the 140Conf in Des Moines. Here’s my presentation:

The thing is that the organizer doesn’t have the footage for the event for another week… and when she does get it, she’ll have to slice it up, and then upload it… Having worked with other events, I know that she’s probably going to get hammered with requests for “Can I get my video so I can put it on my public speaker page?”

Since I’m a fan of the 140Conf and everything they do (Google Jeff Pulver – the dude is amazing!), I made a tutorial on how to cut your individual clip out of the live-stream, so you can have it and use it right now… that’s where the above clip came from. You can also use this method to record a live-stream (this particular example is using a playback… but you can use this for a one-time event.. like you would use a VCR / DVR).

So, here’s the stream: http://www.livestream.com/dsmamplifiedevents

And here’s my tutorial:

Now.. just a side note– this stream was donated by the company… You should consider if the event you are capturing from is copyrighted… so.. just watch out with that.

I’ll give you $100 for your help – very time sensitive

announcements, business, good deeds 1 Comment »

Hey, Ori here (From Austin again – Dallas tomorrow, Des Moines Friday), and I need your help.

I’m not ashamed to ask for help, and I’m sure you’ll see the irony here….

MakeWordpressEasy is a product that shows you how to make powerful websites that look like a million dollars, are highly functional, and easy for you to update…. without having to know how to code, or what the heck HTML stands for.
It’s a course for entrepreneurs– how to get it done now, without having to do wait on other people, or learn all this fancy stuff.
Now, my trouble….  You know how Mac Evangelists keep saying that Macs don’t crash? Well… in standard over achiever fashion, I have proven these people wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Read the rest of this entry »

Being held prisoner, and how I escaped!

business, Information, product review, rant, Scam Warning 1 Comment »

Network Solutions was holding me captive

Have you ever been held against your will? Your only choices being to keep suffering, or to walk away from what you’ve worked hard for? Sometimes, if we want another solution – the one that works for you – you have to do what it takes. My troubles began over a decade ago…

The year was 1996, many people did not know what this “Internet” thing is (we were still in Web 1.0 then) . A 19 year old Read the rest of this entry »

Run to hell and back….

adventure, Couches, events, good deeds, humor, Inspiration, travel 2 Comments »

Hell RunSerendipity shows her sexy face again. This time on April 6th. I was jogging – which is where I get many of my best ideas – and I call Brandie “I have an idea to help Japan, and help promote the book.” I told her, and svhe said “No!” “No???” “That’s right, no!” “But it’s a great idea!” Read the rest of this entry »

Back to Iowa!

adventure, announcements, business, events, Inspiration, travel, video 2 Comments »

Last time I was in Iowa, I spent a month with cage fighters, causing all sorts of trouble. This time (May 9th) I am going for a reason that I’m even more passionate about… speaking at the 140Conf.

While I speak at conferences, seminars, schools, and even lunches, one of my favorite events is the 140Conf. Perhaps I am just utterly fascinated by the founder, Jeff Pulver (A coFounder of Vonage, and the guy who went to fight for us regular people, so that Telecoms can’t charge us for calls made over VOIP), who is just so multi-faceted, and so caring.

The 140conf is an event with the slogan “Characters Wanted” — the format is Read the rest of this entry »

Must watch presentation

adventure, good deeds, humor, Information, Inspiration, Tutorials, video No Comments »

This guy is amazing. He’s also dead now. This presentation is a must watch!