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

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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

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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.

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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 »

Bucketlist item – Standup Comedy

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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 »

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 »

Introducing Ori’s Stories

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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.

How to extract your video from a stream of videos

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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 mean Business!

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I know I’ve been off the grid (‘cept all those silly jokes on Facebook)- so here’s what’s up:

I’ve been in South Florida now for almost 3 weeks. I’ve only left the house to go jogging daily (I have missed 2 days), and two times to go out to dinner with my folks.  Other than that, I have been in front of my computer day and night.

Over the last month, I’ve gotten my LLC, Merchant Account, Business Banking Account (got majorly disappointed with Bank of America, for the second time, so am never doing business with them again), Online Shopping Cart, and have set up numerous business relationships and creating a few products.

You see, I love helping people build and grow their businesses.  I’ve been doing this for ages, by providing people with high-end photography, videography, motion graphics, websites, marketing strategies and implementation, and even product design and creation.  I’m thrilled that I can help… But…. I can’t help enough people to feel like I’m making a difference when I’m doing it one on one.

Coming in April is my Big Ideas Workshops….Everyone spends their money and time on getting and learning the latest tool or tactic… but they don’t actually have a great idea to use it with.  People are running their businesses, but missing major opportunities.  So, I will be working with 20 people per weekend teaching high-end creative ideation, as well as doing many hotseats, so everyone gets to walk away with their own big idea:  a new product, or additional direction with their current product or service,the challenges you can expect to face, the resources you’ll need to charge through those challenges, and the tools to make sure that these ideas work with your market, as compared to just being nice ideas.

This week I am releasing a product that fills a major gap. It is a course on how to easily set up your own website, and fire that overpriced web designer that’s been holding your site hostage. Many people buy courses that tell them “ok.. just set up a WordPress site, and then do this this and this” — they don’t tell you how to customize it, or how to brand it.. I’m going step by step, and showing you exactly what to do, and… how to do it without having to know any of that geek-code… you don’t need CSS and HTML and PHP… although, I do teach that in case you do want it.

Ideas On Retainer, originally my coaching site, which I was adding a paid newsletter to, was getting great response… but as I said earlier in this post, I just don’t think I’m helping enough people if I put the information behind a wall.  I will be publishing those business articles on this site.  Ideas On Retainer will go back to being my coaching site.

So.. that’s some of what you can look forward to.

Sorry if I’ve been off the grid,

Ori

Breakdancing and finding your passion.

Get to know Ori, opinion, rant, video 6 Comments »

Ok, sounds good. <– Not even a reaction!

I guess my friends and family are used to hearing what new goal I am going to go after now, “I’m going to be a 3D animator!  I’m going to be a photographer!  Now I”m running a printshop!  I’m going to design jewelry!  I’m a marketer!  I’m a video editor!  I’m going to play the guitar! I’m writing a book!”  So… Breakdancing may not be a big stretch for them, especially after stunts like Bull Poker, or Cliff Jumping, or Skydiving, or all these other things that I’ve done.  But… this is different, and I’m telling you why so maybe you can find that thing that brings you alive. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s all about Perspective, and other stories.

Couches, Get to know Ori, humor, travel 4 Comments »

Everything stopped. Whatever had been going rushed into confusion, as the white searing light filled my entire existence.

“Wake up”

“Huh?”

The small Australian five year old child moved his flashlight which was on, and leaning against my left eyeball to my right eyeball Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year 2011!

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Happy New Year from Couch Surfing Ori - Ori Bengal

Who writes their happy new year post on January 7th?  I do! I’m on Tico Time ? Yeah… things in Costa Rica are pretty relaxed.  But.. it’s my last day! I leave today at 1PM, and I wanted to start my new year of blogging from another country. This blog post is very important to me.

Last year I started of writing about that new year’s resolutions are bullshit. I still think that.  Most people don’t even last 1 week! I do have a few declarations to make to you and the universe, but before I get into those, let me tell you something I’m really proud about.

January 1st was the anniversary of my Couchsurfing journeys starting!  I started on New Year’s day on 2007, which means I am now in my 5th year of couchsurfing! That’s also the reason that I wanted to send my blog post from here in Costa Rica… because that’s been a goal of mine which I finally accomplished: to couchsurf in another country.  I’ve been here for 5 weeks now on seven different beds.

As a kid I wanted Read the rest of this entry »

Ideas On Retainer is coming!

adventure, announcements, business, design, events, Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Interviews, Marketing Lessons, Tutorials 1 Comment »

The Ideas On Retainer logo - a lightbulb over glowing designy stuffI’ve conquered a lot of fears, and grown my comfort zone. I’ve studied thousands of hours on so many topics, and met with so many different people. I suppose you could call it my life’s work.

Now I am going to have to deal with the fears that I’ve let push me over to not committing. Check out Ideas On Retainer– coming January 1, 2011 after the hangover wears off.

I even like my new logo that I designed :)

Costa Rica Birthday Surprise

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Celebrating 34 with friend and Patron

The brakes don’t work!  We were gliding forward, and I was certain that this is it…. I was going to run over my 1st person ever! Why were they riding their bicycle right there?  It was a good 34 years of being free.

To start off, I don’t know what my birthday surprise is, so don’t let the title fool you. It’s the night before we leave Tamarindo, and I’m in a writy mood (apparently, Writy is not a word, but it’s how I feel– so… screw you red-underliny thing (underliny is also not a word)). I have a funny story, and a good life lesson. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Birthday to me– in Costa Rica.

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I got my wish.  I’m couchsurfing in another country.  I have the most amazing friends I could have imagined, and even though most aren’t here with me, I feel that I am totally loved.  So, now I’m 34 — here’s the latest from Costa Rica.

1st, since you’re curious as to how I’m celebrating, I am going to learn to surf waves, not just couches.  I would’ve done it sooner, but I injured my foot when jogging barefoot on the beach. Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving and such

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This is my last post from America this year.  This afternoon I take the Greyhound from Austin to Dallas, then I fly to Costa Rica (Got a nifty blog post about how that came up) at 5am. I’ve spent most of this month sleeping on a dog bed, although Bentley the St. Bernard didn’t always want to snuggle.

That dog bed is so comfortable. I started sleeping on it as a joke, because I was protesting the amount of time it took to inflate and deflate Craig’s air mattress, then I realized it’s really comfy, there’s nothing to set up or clean up, and Bentley makes a great pillow anyways.

I’m writing my “Thanksgiving and stuff” blog a few days after Thanksgiving, because I am grateful every day.  I’ve got a great family (regardless of how much we annoy each other after a few days.  You know what they say “Family and garbage.. they both start to stink after a few days.” :)  ), I’m traveling, I’ve met the most amazing people, I work on projects that engage me intellectually, I Read the rest of this entry »

Prom again.

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Ori and Itay back in the day when Ori went to PromSo people who suffer PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) often get cured by reliving a traumatic experience again and again, in a controlled environment.  Well, I didn’t survive (or not surprise) a landmine blowing up my Humvee…. but I did go to Prom in high school.

Yeah… it was pretty sad.  I didn’t give a crap about the people in my school.  I didn’t get along with them all that well. It’s not that we didn’t get along, it’s that I didn’t know  who I was back then.  I guess you could say I’ve come out of my shell since then.  I was working at the movie theatre, and this girl Sharon came in.  She was kind of hot.  She had huge boobs.  Back then, that was probably good enough reason to take someone to prom.

To the left is my awesome tuxedo picture.  Yup.  I feel like I should be a waiter or something.  May I grind some cheese for you for your salad?

So, I did not hook up with Sharon. Nowhere near.  I had fun drinking with the group.  Riding in a limo was cool’ish.

So today I’m flying out of Austin, to go to Social Media Prom.  That’s right! Me and the rest of the computer nerd misfits who never felt they fit in (which apparently, is most people) are now enjoying and connecting on social media, but the real world is way more fun.  So, what is Social Media Prom?

Well… who cares?  It’s another excuse to hang out with friends and celebrate!  These days I’m not shy and quiet.  These days, I’m rowdy, and way more confident.  I’ll dance.  I’ll sing.  I’ll tell jokes the whole evening.  So– I WAS going to show up in a Kilt, with a Tux Jacket, and this shirt.

Graphic EQ Shirt

My prom shirt.

Yeah. Tuxedo-Tshirts are tacky, so I have to be innovative.  The only thing is that there was a problem with the kilt place, so… now I may just wear a regular tuxedo with this tshirt.

Look… I may play poker with bulls, and train with cage fighters, but I’m just a big nerd!  I’ve been building PCs since 6th grade.  I was hacking video games at 7th grade.  I spend a lot of time in front of the computer.  I was using dating sites before they were considered safe.

So…. yeah… this seems awesome, and even cooler, it’s presented by Funny Or Die.  I love Funny Or Die!  If you haven’t heard of them, just watch this clip that launched them:

Social media has allowed me to connect with some of the people from Funny Or Die in person at various other events.  Amber Osbourne introduced me to Patrick Starzan at a nightclub in Vegas, “You have to meet this guy!  You’re twins!” (not identical… just non-stop corny jokes).

I actually had 3 girls fighting over me!  This is way better than high school prom!  And we can legally buy the booze this time, and the kids that are the cool kids are the people who embrace life, and have a lot of personality… not the people who have a fancy jacket. My official date is Brandie. , my business manager.  She’s become invaluable, and I wouldn’t want to go with anyone else.  I have so many ideas, and if it weren’t for Brandie, many of them would not get executed.  I can’t tell you which dress she’s wearing… but here they are:


I’m voting for the 1st one.

Anyways- the point is that I am always looking for unique and memorable experiences, preferably with great people that I can share them with.  I can’t think of much that will be better than this.  I predict a lot of fun, and I challenge you to go find some cool fun event that makes you feel silly.  Go to some vintage shop, find some crazy costume or outfit, and own it!  Post the pictures everywhere!  Heck!  Post a picture of your prom pics!  Leave a comment!  My prom picture rocks!  I was a younger, dorkier me, and my little brother Itay was all adorable and puffy and tiny.

These days he is 6’2, 240LBS of solid muscle, and he hates that darn picture :)

Blog World and the 140Conf Roadtrip

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The World's Largest Truck Stop

I just drove from Las Vegas (Sunday 1pm PST) to Detroit, Michigan (8pm EST Tuesday). It’s about 2110 miles.  I want to tell you how crazy Blog World was in Vegas.  I’ll try to do a short version, though being short-winded is not my strength.

Vegas: Fun! Tons of friends from all over the world.  Met new ones.  I love memorable meetings- When I met Deb, it was at a club, and Kate said “Give her a foot massage” “Ok” – so.. I’m on the floor at this club, this woman is writhing in pleasure, and that’s when we made introductions.  We’re great friends now.  I even danced!  A lot!  Like, pick the girl up, swing her around, Salsa, Cha-Cha, swing, hip-hop… who knew?!  I wasn’t even drunk.  Good mood can make a huge difference.

Read the rest of this entry »

Social Hub In A Small World Network – aka – wtf?

business, Couches, Get to know Ori, Inspiration 7 Comments »
A picture of a social hub

Social Hub Network

So, I’m sitting here on the beach, where I’m couch surfing, and having a conversation with Jason, who is a neuroscientist (obsessed), and had actually reached out to me…. how he found me?  *shrug*  Actually, just asked him– he says his friend hosted couchsurfers, so he told him about that, and then he wanted to start his own blog, then found a blog about couchsurfing…. which caught his attention ’cause he had thought about couchsurfing, and that happened to be my blog.  Then he read my stuff, and I sounded like a cool person, and he saw I was near by, so he contacted me.  Actually, he thought also that I could teach him how to blog, so when contacting me he said I could crash his place on the beach, if I set him up with a blog.  Cool… just learned that while typing (real time blogging, sweet!).  Ok… back to what I was thinking…. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I don’t have a vanity plate.

Get to know Ori, humor, rant 3 Comments »

Ori's License Plate - ORI 69UI was just in Sacramento, and drove past a car that had a license plate DR DNO. Doctor Dino, get it? Right next to it was ELPRMO. These are some of the mildest vanity plates that I’ve seen around. There’s some cocky ones… generally displayed on cars that cost more than many peoples’ annual incomes. TSTRSA1 or TOO FST.

I couldn’t help but laugh as I drove past the Doctor and the First. I laughed because I remembered buying my 1st car… a sports car. My 1998 Camaro with T-Tops. She was slick, sexy, and FAST. Clearly such a divine vehicle, driven by a guy that can bench press over 300 pounds is worthy of a vanity plate…. And I had just the 6 letters in mind! Read the rest of this entry »

Remember “Seven Minutes In Heaven”? This is WAY better…

adventure, business, design, Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Marketing Lessons, photography, video 21 Comments »

tes

So what is it exactly that you do?

That is the question I get asked most often.  Not because it is standard, but because people look at my odd business card, and find out that I’ve been couchsurfing for over 3.5 years.  ”And you make money by couchsurfing?”

I have not really shared what exactly I do, until now! Read on! You may be surprised how I can help you, the people I have helped and how I have helped them, and WHY I am sharing this with you now! (In that order) Read the rest of this entry »

I am Siddhartha! Not your average book review!

Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Marketing Lessons, misc, opinion, product review, rant, summary, travel 4 Comments »

A picture of Siddhartha's friend

I’m  warning you in advance, this is not your mother’s book review (takes me a tiny bit to get warmed up)! It has a lot of really personal stuff from my life as I reflect on the book, and is discussed in my fun (and language filled) manner.

Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse is a book that does not fit in my normal reading list. As with all things in my life, this too has a fascinating story and reflection.

It all started with Jaime. Read the rest of this entry »

A wedding of squirrels

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Two squirrels getting marriedMy friend Robert had gone skydiving, so that was a conversation piece.  I asked Sheila “Have you gone skydiving? “Of course!” pause… “Have you?” “Umm of course!” as if it’s an insult that someone had to even ask!

The conversation then shifted to whether the skydiving was performed solo, or tandem.  If you haven’t gone, it’s really safe, part of that reason is because you go tandem, which means that there’s  an instructor strapped to your back, and they deal with the boring stuff… like landing, packing the parachute, and making sure it opens if you screw it up. If you want to jump on your own, it costs you about $1,800, and requires about 18 jumps and some tests.

Sheila, Robert, and I had all jumped tandem.

I added that I WILL get certified and go solo, because it is Read the rest of this entry »