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. Cathy B.
    August 26, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Although I work everyday towards the purpose of helping others change their lives (addiction problems), I know I have a sense of purpose in my life, yet, there is still something missing in my life……I am unhappy, and this doesn’t make sense to me.


    • Elisha Goldstein
      August 27, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Cathy, sending you well wishes. There are wonderful things that blossom from helping others, but it’s also very important to help and love ourselves too.

  2. Chris Taylor
    August 25, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I’m on Day 10 of the Purposeful Life practice and things are going very well. It’s a surprise to me how just a little reminder can help clarify and bring to the forefront in my mind what I value and how I can be an expression of those values today. Today my prosocial purpose is to be authentic. I often hide my true self under a cover of reserved and timid persona. But this isn’t me. I am a kind and loving person, and it feels good to show that to others. For me, right now, being authentic means being honest with myself, knowing what my values are, and engaging with people in a straight forward, less filtered, honest way. Reminders for myself in this practice are to be okay with “making waves”, share my agenda, trust that I am worthy of respect and don’t need to hide.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      August 25, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      It’s a good feeling when a little reminder can help remind us of what’s truly important. Being your true self and sharing that with others is a gift that benefits those around you, as well as yourself!

    • Chris Taylor
      August 27, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      So True! thanks Elisha

  3. ingrid
    August 23, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    my purpose is to be more joyful. I shall do this by trying to smile at life’s irritations instead of being judgemental. I think the world – and most certainly my world – needs more joy and less judgement, but I’ve found this very difficult since I broke my leg badly two and a half years ago, leaving me in a lot of pain. Now I’m going t use this exercise to try to pull myself out of the hole of bitterness and unhappiness I fell into on the day I broke my leg. thanks for listening.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      August 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Wishing you joy, ingrid. hoping your pro-social purpose will help you manifest more joy in your own life and to share it with those around you.

    • Chris Taylor
      August 25, 2015 at 9:18 am

      Hi Ingrid, my heart went out to you when I read your post. I’ve been learning lately how our failures and/or injuries can be our most valuable learning experiences and the source of our greatest gifts. Sending you love and joy.

    • Ann
      September 4, 2015 at 5:16 am

      Hi Ingrid!
      I love your purpose and have adopted it as mine also. Today is my first day here, but I know of the depths of negativity of which you speak. You can pull yourself up – I did. My thoughts are with you on your journey.

  4. David
    August 23, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Day three and I have found my pro-social purpose. “Go Between”. This means to enter the space between two people to promote peace, to enter the space between a person’s thought and action towards their peace of mind, or to pause between my own thoughts and actions to stay aligned with my intentions for a world of peace and harmony.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      August 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      Welcome David and wishing you the best acting as a “go-between” peacekeeper. It’s amazing what mindfulness can bring to our own interactions and situations.

    • Chris Taylor
      August 25, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Thanks for sharing this “Go Between” idea and practice. Those words are like an invitation to entering the space between thoughts and action, which is key to making good choices and staying in our integrity. It also makes me think about the space between our illusion of self and pure attention/awareness. It seem that getting familiar it this space between is the crucial point of practice, like when we realize our attention has drifted off and we gently bring our awareness back to the present moment.

  5. Andy the Norseman
    July 14, 2015 at 3:06 am

    I believe in a power greater than myself. I found this during recovery from addiction. My power that is greater than myself is a kind, compassionate, wise power. Alot like love itself. My goal is to connect further with this power, and to give of my time when meeting a person, or in a social situation where another person benefits. I intend to sometimes give a few seconds of my time, other times take part in an activity that lasts a little longer. This I will do in order to take part in something bigger than myself, that produces something positive and that helps me feel more connected with the world.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      July 15, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      Welcome Andy!

  6. Smile
    July 7, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    The prosocial purpose that felt right to me was “love.” The action I am taking today is to smile. This is in service of, greater than myself, offering a more positive and supportive environment for those in the room. Much of my daily routine involves both volunteer work and social service, yet, lately I’ve felt grumpy, judgmental, and unsupported, feelings which takes away from offering a positive environment to others and myself. Somehow, just adding this simple intention and action brightened my day for the first time in weeks. It also caused me to be aware – what am I bringing into the room – visually, and emotionally? Today, anytime a judgmental or critical thought came up in my mind, I would smile. The result would be more presence, being in the now, and more room for discernment instead of judgment, criticism, or negativity. Also, somehow I hadn’t heard the word “prosocial” before, which I looked up. This was an added tool of understanding!

    • Elisha Goldstein
      July 9, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Welcome Smile, I’m so happy to hear that setting an intention to smile brought awareness and a positive impact to your interactions throughout the day.

  7. Lesley Darling
    June 11, 2015 at 4:19 am

    I am at day 4 and have been doing the reflecting but a stomach upset has prevented me posting, so I’m catching up today.
    Day 1 I want to make sure that compassion is part of my daily practice, I was raised to judge and this isn’t a positive place to nurture people from. My work with young children highlights the need for a more nurturing world. I will extend my compassion and kindness to the parents who are failing these children and generate a positive space for them so I can nurture the parents and be a role model.
    Day 2 I will continue to smile and talk with people I come into contact with, this is already my practice, but I will focus on being more present for them, extending compassion and kindness.
    Day 3 If I were living with my values then I would be more connected with my community and the world. I would be seeing a positive ripple in those around me.
    Day 4 The same quotes keep showing up for me at the moment, synchronicity!

    • Elisha Goldstein
      June 12, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Hoping you are feeling better and welcome to you Leslie! It’s great to hear about the prosocial purpose that is helping guide your intentions and actions. 🙂

  8. Diane
    June 4, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Day 1: Cultural Humility. I’m very much in the process of sorting through what this means, but I’m holding in mind a quote from Father Gregory Boyle: “the day won’t ever come when I am as holy as the people I’m called to serve… the day won’t ever come when I have more courage or am more noble or am closer to God than this16-year-old gang member sitting alone on his porch…” I’m also holding in mind that the one I am called to serve is always the one in front of me…so cultural humility is specific to the needs and identity of whomever I should meet up with in life, whether intentionally or accidentally.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      June 5, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Welcome Diane, cultural humility is certainly a powerful concept to contemplate on your first day of the program!

  9. rholambda
    May 30, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Day 10: Kindness is really the key, isn’t it? By considering a kinder initial response instead of an automatic critical reaction it becomes easier to evaluate what’s really going on in a negative situation and rallying one’s objective faculties. What I am learning from this is that my ability to read a situation is becoming more considered. If the other person is truly behaving badly, that can still be acknowledged and recognized, without metaphorically throwing gasoline on an open flame. Putting the kindest interpretation on another’s behavior is not always possible or even desirable, if the issues at stake are vitally important enough, but the act of recognizing that kindness is at least possible seems to provide breathing room before an ugly, ill-considered comment or action can be made on my own part.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      June 1, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Beautiful observation and recognition.

  10. rholambda
    May 29, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Day Nine and feeling better. I kept the concept of kindness in mind and found it easier to face a co-worker’s shortcomings and even listen to her relate her own health issues with sympathy. I am still disappointed in her shabby work ethic, but was able to let go of it. Result: even though she left early after coming in late, I was actually quite free of resentment. It felt a bit strange, actually. But I liked it.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      June 1, 2015 at 10:55 am

      It’s powerful how finding kindness and compassion for others brings positives for us too.

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