The key to happiness

Co-founder of iCreatePositivity, Petros Galanoulis implores us all to bring happiness back into our lives, one day at a time

With a new year, comes resolutions and promises to ourselves to be happy. To sod off the year that’s passed and focus on the important things. But have we forgotten what’s important to us? In the rat race that is life, have we forgotten to take time out to enjoy the simple pleasures in life that make us happy?
Qualified life coach Petros Galanoulis and his business partner Iris Wang have joined forces on their quest to inject some happiness back into our lives. Both have mutual stories of slinking into anxiety and depression through failed relationships, corporate work and the pressure of owning more, more and more.
It was through mutual friends that these two met. They were both into personal development as they both had a similar story to tell. But what they noticed was that this story of unhappiness was more common than not in the world.
“We’re distracted by so many things these days – the cost of living and the requirements on a human being these days, and things that are out there to put people into debt or put them in a state that makes them forget about what matters and forget about themselves, that is growing a lot more than say peoples’ incomes,” Petros tells Neos Kosmos.
“People are in such a state where it’s very difficult to take up some of these opportunities or to find a way out, people have sort of lost themselves in the world of social media and now that we’re working longer hours it is said the cost of living is going up it’s even harder.”
Petros says one of the main problem thwarting people from finding happiness or helping themselves is they try to get from step one to step 1000. He believes that people need to stop and think about the small things, the simple things that make them happy.
“Being happy, positivity and changing the outlook and results in your life should be three things – simple fun and easy,” explains Petros.
“See the positive side to things,” says Iris.
“Look at it from a different way, rather than looking at it from a negative way, because every thing that happens have both a negative and a positive effect and when a person is trying to look at the positive more regularly than the negative it becomes a habit. So it’s just a change, a shift in minds.”
Culturally, Petros says that Greek Australians have a predisposition to internalise the way they feel, so second, third and fourth generations will need to break this habit.
“Look at our parents,” starts Peter, “they did the best based on what they knew, and let’s be honest we Greeks love to internalise things – everything is out to get us right?”
“We look at growing up so first thing we do is ok life is difficult or money is the root of all evil. So all these things we put into our head which we then act out throughout our lives,” he says.
Too many people get caught up with the future, Petros adds, meaning they create unnecessary anxiety but if you bring yourself back to the now, to the present, he says you will notice a lot of that pressure goes away. But once you realise your future is in your hands, by focusing on the now, Petros says it will manifest.
Together, Petros and Iris decided to develop a program to bring back happiness into people’s lives one step at a time. The 30 Day Positivity Challenge acts as a mind makeover; for people to shift they way they feel about positivity for it to become a necessary means to live a healthier way of life.
In the primary stages of development, Petros says he and Iris would always reflect on was when it became so complex to be happy and positive for people.
“We thought there is something in this, let’s look into it further,” he says adding even if through the program they impact one or two people, they in themselves can have a flow on effect.
“It all starts from one person,” adds Iris, “if I smile to you, you tend to smile back to me then you’ll probably smile to other people as well and that people affecting can take place.”
“A lot of people they just don’t realise that a simple thing can start from home – the person you’re smiling to – your wife, your children, they’ll take that energy; they’ll pass it on to another person which will go to another household and then another household,” says Petros.
To do this, Petros and Iris were looking at a way to incite people to make a change, without it becoming mundane or like a chore. Something that would fit into people’s lives; that they could do in the home or the workplace. That’s how the 30 Day Positivity Challenge was born.
“The whole idea of the ‘challenge’ is so that people understand that you can make a difference to your life by little steps and by doing the simple things in life,” Iris tells Neos Kosmos.
“For example, people sometimes think if I have a house, if I have more money, if I have more cars, if I have a holiday if I have this or that then I’ll be happy.
“This is really about bringing people back to the core humanity that it’s not these things that make us happy, it’s the little things that we do like acts of kindness – helping out people, making someone smile or making yourself smile,” explains Petros.
“It’s about getting people to change their patterns because most people have conditioned themselves to such a negative pattern,” he adds. “If we can condition a pattern for negativity, then we can condition a pattern for positivity and that’s the whole underlying theme of it. And all we’ve done is sprinkle some fun and simplicity on it.”
With every day simple achievable goals, for 30 days, Petros and Iris state that people will start to retrain their brain to think positively which will have numerous health benefits both emotionally and physically. The website details plans on how to think more positively, but also exercise plans as well as dietary suggestions to assist with the process. All in all, a way to have fun in creating a positive healthy outlook on life. There is also a forum to chat with others taking part in the challenge and exchanging stories that will bring back joy in everyone’s life.
To take part in the 30 Day Positivity Challenge, visit www.icreatepositivity.com/