After retiring from a career as an IT project manager, Edwin Smith needed something to do with his newfound time. While researching his options, it became clear to him that nearly all the retirement info he found online all dealt with the financial issues of a post-career life so he began researching the non-financial retirement issues, namely the biological, sociological and psychological aspects of life.
After extensive research, he was so intrigued with his findings that he decided to pivot and picked up several certifications as a life coach. He now specializes in helping people deal with the non-financial aspects of retirement.
“Working with my clients the phrase I heard more than anything else was - ‘I just want to be happy and do what I enjoy.”
Armed with research in positive psychology related to happiness combined with his retirement coaching experience, he was ready to share his knowledge in an interest group.
“The group is for anyone that wants to be happier and is hoping to raise their level of happiness by acquiring some strategies and tips.”
Keys to a happier life
Happiness: we all seek it, yet it is so elusive for so many people. But did you know that happiness is a skill you can learn? We’ll discuss a different aspect of happiness every week. My plan is to have a different theme for each meeting to start off our discussions. Come share what works for you and come learn what works for fellow participants.
Much of Edwin’s research supported an old Native American tale which explains that - a person won’t find happiness in other people, in a better job, or in acquiring things - happiness is found deep inside your heart; that is where we need to look happiness.
Edwin states that happiness is not an emotion, and it is not a destination, rather it is a state of being and means different things to different people. Positive psychology researchers generally define happiness as “subjective well-being.” The keys to happiness come from both internal and external sources.
Edwin found GetSetUp in December of 2020. He enjoyed the fact that the classes were free and covered a wide variety of areas.
“I took some classes that were more informational. There were some tech classes that I didn’t know much about like Amazon’s pictures and cloud-based service. I took classes on things like Google photos that I thought I was a bit weak on and learned a few things.”
In his free time, Edwin works with veteran groups. During the pandemic, he missed the camaraderie of these rap groups where it gave vets a chance to complain, get ideas, and learn to solve issues. He sees a lot of similarities in these groups with what other interest groups deal with on similar topics.
“One of the key things for happiness and longevity is having connections with people. The need to belong is one of the strongest needs we have as human beings. That’s why Facebook and Twitter are so popular. Everyone has the need to belong. GetSetUp is a simple way to take classes at little to no cost and interact with people you wouldn't otherwise interact with and I'm certain new friendships have formed by some of the learners. Those connections are the most important thing.”
Edwin knows that having a life purpose is not just laying around for people to find, so exploring a number of new tools, skills, and communities gives people opportunities to find it. Ed says that the great thing about GetSetUp is that it is both an interactive learning platform by and for seniors, but doubles as a social platform where participants meet new people and make new connections.
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As we get older and retire and have a bit more time on our hands, many turn toward volunteering. Research shows that the happiest older adults were those who volunteer.
Understand how to leverage your passions, skills, and talents in your retirement so you are living in happiness with Guest Speaker Leah Frankel.