Our Story: Petros Galanoulis co-founder of I Create Positivity Magazine

PetrosPetros lived an ordinary life, like everyone out there working hard to make a dollar, chasing the dream and to keep the wheels turning. Born from Greek immigrant parents, growing up as the first child of the family was tough. Struggled not only with culture differences within family and the environmental influence, his relationship with his parents wasn’t rosy either.

What he didn’t expect was the sequence of events later in his life that led him to a path that became his worst nightmare and at the same time, a blessing in disguise.

What was life like before all this horrible stuff occurred? If this happened at a very young age, give us a brief summary of you or your family’s background.

Life was ordinary, and every day was a day of battle just to get up go to work and pay the bills. It was a life full of promise that often felt like a cruel tease. It seems growing up with migrant parents, who despite coming here for a better opportunity also shackled themselves with a ‘life is difficult-money is scarce’ mentality, and that rubbed off on me. I would live out the same anger and frustration as my parents: An ordinary life, chasing a dream and a dollar. I was healthy, and for a while was with who I thought would be a life partner. I may not have had much, but amongst it all, I was ok.

What were the challenges you faced?

I was very much living out of spite towards my folks. Our relationship growing up wasn’t the warmest or connected one, and I never really felt any acknowledgment from them. I’d left home as an act of ‘screw you.’ I had an anger and a chip in me that was growing, only I wasn’t really seeing it. In 2005, my university sweetheart of 7 years called it quits and walked out, and this felt like someone had gutted me, and that life as I knew it was over. I had no clue what happened, why it happened, or what I was going to do. But this would erupt in me a monster, as I became very angry and frustrated and then defiant. Defiant, in that I was not going to let anything beat me, at least so I thought. For a year and a half, I would run from my problems as if nothing was wrong.

I finally fell in love again with a magical woman, whom within a year and a half of dating would eventually help me to crash, a much needed one at that. This metaphoric crash meant I had to let her go, as we weren’t going to be forever, but it also meant that I was now a completely destroyed wreck, and no one was coming to save me. My weight ballooned, and I would soon fall in to a deep depression. I wanted to end it all, but was not brave enough to do it. So I got myself on medication, as you can always rely on that to raise you above it all. However, I started experiencing some difficulties with my liver, difficulties that medication wasn’t fixing, and my weight kept ballooning. I kept fighting the world, and I became darker, and darker. I had become desperate, and wasn’t sure what I was capable of, when one night I was awakened by someone in my room, someone that stood over me and slapped me so hard in the face that I still can feel it like it was yesterday, and this person clearly said, ‘Get rid of the drugs, and get up for yourself!’, and then simply disappeared.

I got up and ran to my door to see if anyone was coming to help or look in on me, as I was living at my parents’ house at this point. Nothing, no one. I turned on my lights and again, there was no sign of anyone being in my room. But I knew there was, I had a slap to prove it. Safe to say, whether you believe there was someone there or not, and I did investigate that, it didn’t matter, because it was the wakeup call I needed.

How did you get through it? Or what did you do, or have to do to get through it?

Well for me it’s more a break away. I was fed up, I had fallen in to a very deep depression, my liver was becoming dysfunctional, I had strong suicidal thoughts and battled with that for some time, but didn’t have the balls to go through with it which left me in an even darker place, and I couldn’t live, and I couldn’t die. My liver started playing up and was not responding to medical attention, nor my eventual switch to a healthier lifestyle; it truly felt like life hated me. But that was ok, because I hated it back. Finally, after my mysterious overnight visitor, I figured, ‘well, if I am not going to end it then, I may as well find a way to ease the pain,’ so I started reading. I was reading 5 books at a time, all of a spiritual or personal development nature, and I was lapping it all up. I fell in love with what makes ourselves and our spirit tick.

There was a natural instinctive ‘knowing’ that overlayed the hunger to know more. The deeper I went, the less life hurt. Bizarrely enough I had people coming to me randomly asking for life advice, and it was like a joke as I was very much lost when they did come to me, so to get rid of them and be left alone I just would say the first thought that came to me and leave it at that, certain it was done. But it wasn’t done, these same people would come back and thank me for the advice, as it helped them greatly. I was bowled over: It made no sense. But, it added to the intrigue of it all, and through it I found my love of coaching and cracking the human code, so to speak. I had a purpose worth exploring finally, and things started to feel better, and even my liver was clearing up.

What was the inspiration that got you through it?

My motivation was that I wasn’t going to let life defeat me, that there was more and I deserved it. But for it to be real, I had to find and earn it on my own. I became qualified as a coach with both a certificate and a diploma, and studied Vedanta, an Ancient Indian spiritual philosophy which I feel saved me, and used that to build not only mine, but others’ lives as well. My inspiration comes from people like Dr Wayne Dyer, Anthony Robbins, The Ancient Indian Mystics, Christ, and so many more.

What was the best lesson you’ve learnt from this?

The only hurdle in life is our own self. Overcome yourself, and you can conquer anything.

How is life like now?

Better than ever. Every day is lived in amazement and anticipation of the infinite possibilities before me, and knowing that I have those many choices.

What are you most proud of in your life so far?

Myself, and my decision to stay alive and work it out.

If you had the chance to go back in time and give advice to your previous/younger self, what would it be?

Again, the only hurdle in life is our own self. Overcome yourself, and you can conquer anything.

5 tips for others going through similar situation as you did.

  1. Be resilient, even when you feel you can’t anymore.
  2. Give yourself a desired alternative to gravitate toward and focus on.
  3. Build knowledge, and execute that which makes most sense to you.
  4. Faith is very real: Keep as much as possible, there will be times where that’s all you’ll have and need.
  5. Find a mentor and positive, successful people to hang with, and ignore/remove the naysayers.

Why should people read any self-help/personal development materials like the “I Create Positivity E-Magazine”?

When I was at that tipping point of live or die, what got me through was written wisdom. Reading/learning, at the very least in the beginning, was a comfortable distraction from the pain I was experiencing. In time, however, I found the many answers I was seeking, and some even found me. Reading material like ICP magazine is a great way to expand your mind, and make practical, real positive changes to your life.


Next week:Our Story features Iris Wang, Petros’s business partner and co-founder of I Create Positivity Magazine

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