21 Days of Purpose: A Free eCourse for Uncovering Happiness

You have a purpose in being here…
… and part of that is remembering that
you are part of something much larger than yourself.

Science and thousands of years of human experience are showing us a feeling of connection to something greater than ourselves gives us a heightened sense of well-being and resiliency. In short, it’s a natural antidepressant.

I want to invite you to an experiment based on practices in my new book, Uncovering Happiness, that can help you nurture this positive shift in your brain and positively impact the world around you.

Over the next 21 days you’ll be guided through something very simple and profound; discovering a prosocial purpose and turning your purpose into a verb.

The structure for this is loose; there is nothing strict or rigid about this program. The intention of the following 21 days is to deepen your connection to purpose and compassion in your own life and get some support in the process.

Each day you’ll receive a writing to reflect on to light up the compassionate brain. You’ll then be reminded of these three key questions from Uncovering Happiness to help keep you focused and on track:

  1. What pro-social purpose are you involved in?
  2. What action can I take today that is in line with this purpose?
  3. What is this action in service of that is greater than myself?

I recommend weaving in some of the attitudes of play from Uncovering Happiness in order not to get overly serious about the whole endeavor, see it more from a learning lens and make it a playful endeavor.

A very wise woman once told me,
If something is valuable, give it away.

That may sound strange, but I understand what she means. As we give away what is valuable, we inevitably get back something invaluable.

If you’re wondering what that is, take a leap to commit to 21 Days of Purpose and discover it for yourself.

Sign up today by entering your name and email below!

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21 Days of Purpose

Commit to 21 Days of Purpose Now!

Over the next 21 days, get inspired and start to live a life filled with purpose and compassion, an essential ingredient to uncovering happiness.

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You can try this experiment on your own, or it can be fun to do with friends. Let others know what you’re up to and see the ripple effects of a group doing 21 Days of Purpose together. Share it:

We are asking people to reflect on their experiences here to let us know how it’s going. Feel free to post about the purpose your engaging, or write about it on your own blog. Comments here are welcome from anyone.


  1. Natali
    March 6, 2015 at 4:13 am

    Hi everyone!!!!… Im so proud to be here!!!. Im from Argentina, buenos aires and im trying to be more kind with me (at least)… to continue going in that way for others!. All my life i spent it… working for others, but this time is time to get empowerment for my life. So that´s the reason why im here. Im psicologist and mindfulness teacher…. and mdf made my life more awereness… and greatfull. Thanks Elisha and everyone to be in community…. thats make the world more close!!!!!…. loves! Natali.

  2. March 5, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Thank you so much for your wonderful book, Elisha! I have completed reading it and have been practicing many of the tools you shared. I’ve also recommended it to a few friends.

    This is Day 1 for me: I have chosen connection as my pro-social purpose. My intention is to make contact with others rather than my historic tendency to be isolated and introverted. I plan to do this by speaking to people I come into contact with, like a clerk at a store, or saying HI or smiling at someone passing on the trail when walking my dogs, or making a small gesture of assistance to someone who looks like they could use some help. This makes me think of the “just like me” exercise. I do this in service of bringing more kindness and connection in the world – we are all so busy in our minds and a smile or acknowledgment goes a long way towards that.

  3. Ross
    March 5, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Today is day 1for me.
    Compassion for myself has been an ongoing work. Today I shall provide expand that compassion to my clients. I work in community Mental health support.
    Sometimes I lose site of the why I do what I do.
    In my out reach today I’ll commit to being more present and listen more closely

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 5, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      This is wonderful Ross. Sometimes we’re already doing prosocial actions, but they become routine. Knowing that this is a service and seeing the people can re-enliven the sense of purpose. Warmly, Elisha

  4. Judith
    March 5, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Hello Elisha and dear community. My grandmother who was born in 1901 in Germany used to tell me in Yidhsh: “You have to accept what comes”. I grew up with these words not always (to say the least) able to practice them. She knew nothing about mindfulness those days but had the wisdom to live by this mantra. Nowadays I sometimes still find it difficut to accept what comes. My purpose is the reduce the times which I don’t live accordingly, or at least to reduce to minimum my resistance to the events.
    I teach meditation in a psychiatric ward and try to see and unserstand the patients’ problems in the light of my gradmother’s words.
    Thank your for restarting anew.

  5. Kathy B.
    March 5, 2015 at 6:13 am

    Thank you, Elisha, for your wonderful book and this 21 Days of Purpose. It is coming at the perfect time in my life and I am very grateful. I am going to focus on empathy as a focus and purpose. I am going to start that today by thinking more with empathy about a family member who is very challenging, disruptive and who often brings a lot of drama and problems into almost every week and which has been an exhausting rollercoaster. I am setting my intention to think more with empathy about the pain that she must be experiencing instead of the anger and exasperation (“oh great, here we go again with another crisis d’jour – will this ever stop??”) that I usually feel toward her. I am very open to other suggestions on healthier ways to think about someone who seems to have a crisis every week (often brought on by their own choices and actions but which affects everyone around them.) First step, I’m going to think and feel more with empathy about what it must be like to be in her shoes.

    • Maria
      March 5, 2015 at 7:41 am

      Thank you, Kathy B. I could have written those exact words about a challenging family member. You’ve given me another way to look at this person. With compassion and empathy.

    • Anne M.
      March 6, 2015 at 6:21 am

      I agree…thank you Kathy B. for posting this. I also have several(!) challenging family members and I am going to use your inspiration to see them with empathy instead of with my usual knee-jerk annoyed reaction. My prosocial focus for these 21 days is compassion…and this fits in beautifully with that focus…but also to have compassion for myself – which for me is even harder than compassion for others!

    • Donna
      March 6, 2015 at 10:28 am

      I just heard Tara Brach say that you can be compassionate and still set a boundary with the “drama” people, which is sometime very necessary.

  6. Alex
    March 4, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    I’m going to focus on giving more of my time to each person I meet to foster a sense of connection. It may only be an extra second or two but taking the time to connect with the other, see the person before me, may support more connection and intimacy in the world.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 4, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      I love this, beautiful! Stay connected to this forum and let us know what you notice.

  7. Val Streit
    March 4, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Thanks for the course. I have already read through Uncovering Happiness and will go through it again. This is an awesome opportunity to do more work. Thanks Elisha.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Yes it is, it’s amazing what happens when we place purpose and compassion as an intention in our daily lives…

  8. Andrew De Witt
    March 4, 2015 at 3:39 am

    I’m not sure I have thought it through fully yet……but here’s a first go at finding a purpose. I wanted to focus on something not too distant and disconnected, so I’ve been thinking about the phrase ‘local humanitarianism’. Perhaps dealing with some needs close to home?

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 4, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Great start Andrew, what’s a specific example? What would it look like?

  9. March 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Wanted to share something my mom always said. “If you give someone something that you wouldn’t want to keep yourself it’s not a gift at all. Your Daily thoughts are very enlightening and comforting to me. Thank you Jane

    • Kathleeen
      March 4, 2015 at 5:30 am

      A wonderful thought … a gift in itself. thanks

  10. February 28, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Welcome to 21 Days of Purpose! You’ll notice that throughout the 21 days you’ll be prompted to connect with others to share and learn about what you and others are doing that involves living your values.

    Sharing whatever comes up for you in the process will create a living wisdom for everyone to benefit from, that is purposeful in itself.

    I look forward to interacting with you along the way.


    PS – Tomorrow I’ll start with the simple purpose of intentionally smiling at people and acting with kindness. May it infect others and create wonderful ripple effects.

    • Barb
      March 5, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      Great idea Elisha. I think I’ll try to do the same. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Brent
      March 14, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      Elisha- I love the NUTs– quick question/comment- it seems counterintuitive that one can be kind to others but not oneself?

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 15, 2015 at 8:23 am

      Hi Brent, I agree and when we pause to listen to ourselves often times we can be surprised at just how many NUTs are there. It’s far more effective for our personaly resiliency to learn how to befriend ourselves.

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