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. Brent
    March 9, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I feel I know my purpose & I’ve been doing it for 33 years( helping folks with intellectual disabilities)- what effects me from work to tennis & back again, when does one know, enough is enough? Only when the car is going over the cliff do I realize maybe I pushed or tried to hard? Elisha- I’m early into your new book. Thank you for work & compassion! Brent

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 9, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Welcome Brent!

      Sometimes the entry way is self-compassion, you’ll find that in Step 4.

      Stay connected to this community and let’s see how this all unfolds.



  2. Donna
    March 9, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Day 5 – Prosocial Purpose: Respect for Others. So it’s Monday and I’m back at work after having a difficult time this weekend emotionally, stimulated by events with my adult daughter. There’s temptation to tell some of my close friends about this event, I suspect as a way for my ego to get it’s fix of righteousness. I’m going to choose not to discuss it as a matter of respect to my daughter. I’ve spent the last couple of days taking good care of myself. That has included having discussions about my feelings with others that support and love me. I realize that by telling even more people about this, it will only serve to strengthen this story. I’m seeking to let it go, not by pretending that it didn’t matter to me, but that I realize that we each have our own perspectives and we are doing our best to cope with those perscpectives. I’m wishing peace and happiness for myself and all other beings, especially my daughters.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 9, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Loving your commitment of the heart Donna, even though it’s not easy.

  3. Karen
    March 9, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Compassion and empathy are my goals with this. To not be triggered into a responding action. This is exceptionally difficult in my workplace when working with others who have extraordinarily different values and levels of honesty. It means reassuring my own integrity that it stays intact if I respond to things I feel are wrong with compassion and empathy, rather than with anger, and the urge to fix and correct and call out. It also means – what feels like – giving in to and having inaction with inequity (socioeconomic). Hard work.

  4. Sandra R.
    March 8, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    My purpose for the 21 days is to give $1 to every “street person” who wants money and also to speak to them (I saw four today). My second purpose is to speak or at least smile if it seems appropriate (I live in Washington and it has seemed to me that no one speaks to anyone here). Today I walked 12 blocks and 4 people I never saw before greeted me (saying hello or good morning) and I of course returned their greeting. One man’s small dog greeted me warmly.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 8, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Hi Sandra, welcome and come back here to report back what you notice as you go.

  5. Nancy
    March 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    21 days of purpose is hard to do on certain days. Today I just felt overwhelmed by a lot of things that need to be done (groceries, laundry, cleaning). By the time I do all this stuff I feel as if I have no energy. I am trying to be kind to myself by looking in on and contributing to the community and see if I can get over these obstacles.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 8, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      We can hold a range of options that take very little effort, for example smiling toward people to others that take more. Have options available. We often need to balnce this with self compassion.Thank you for being here, Elisha

  6. Serendipity
    March 8, 2015 at 9:08 am

    My goal is to fight, no, to accept procrastination… And being aware of it…..I,m always aware of it..and I blame myself for it…..I want to forgive myself and to breathe every day whenever I feel bad for staying there, in front of the TV, or on the sofa or in front of the computer…or being reluctant….. About … So many things…. My goal is to stand up just onceand praise myself and say to myself that I did it great!!! I always do my best!!!!

    • March 8, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      We all need more supportive voices in our minds…we need to actively encourage them. Absolutely!

    • Jackie
      October 29, 2015 at 9:32 am

      I’m sooooooo struggling with this. I’m sort of retired and it is nothing like I imagined. I live alone in a large city, no friends, no family and no support system. I suffered a debilitating betrayal two years ago and I’m just starting to come out of it. I have things I want to do but I just sit on the couch watching TV and being amazed at how time flies when you aren’t doing anything. I beat myself up every day for not “doing something”. I find that nothing means much if you don’t have people to share your life with.

  7. Meg
    March 8, 2015 at 7:11 am

    I have struggled with anxiety for many years and was recently diagnosed with PTSD. I have been a teacher for 29 years and a mother of 4. I believe I understand the power of giving but also the importance of balance. To get to the point, my service to others is to reach out to those that I know are in pain and not abandon them in their time of need. But also, to be warm, kind and loving to all that I cross paths with each day because you really don’t know who may need that kindness. My hope is that one heart may be touched and will spread to the next heart and so on and so on….It is a small gesture but it is a place to start.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 8, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Welcome Meg!

  8. Donna
    March 8, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Day 4 – Prosocial Purpose: Respect for other. My feelings of sadness and disappointment has lightly somewhat this morning. Over the past two months I have established good habits of exercise and nutrition. I took refuge in those habits yesterday and really felt relief in doing them. In the past, while having such feelings of sadness, I would have treated them with couch therapy and chips, ice cream etc. I also sell soothed with thoughts such as This is painful and it will feel better, you are a loving human being, etc. By taking care of myself, I’m able today to feel a level of respect that my Daughter has a right to make decisions that support her needs and I will have that same right for myself. I guess I would add right and response-ability, thanks to mindful practice!

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 8, 2015 at 7:34 am

      Here’s an example how self compassion can open us up to compassion and perspective. Thank you Donna!

  9. Sue
    March 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I’m on day two, haven’t posted yet & am reluctant to post. Feeling emotionally exposed in this forum but determined to give it a shot.

    I’m a professional caregiver/co-dependent, emphasizing others needs while ignoring my own and I have do-gooder fatigue.

    My goal is to become more kind and compassionate to myself. To recognize my own needs and to work toward meeting them in a loving, non-judgemental way.

    I’m currently involved with several non-profits including animal rescue, wildlife habitat, the mentally ill plus disadvantaged/homeless people and animals. Tired of spreading myself thin by “being of service” while my own needs go unrecognized and unmet.

    Having trouble slowing down and going within, getting focused and setting a goal. Could really use some guidance and direction on this.

    Heart is pounding just thinking of posting this but here goes…….

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 7, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you for inspiring us with your courage. You are so welcome here and believe me when I say your courage has ripple effects on others. We also need to balance this with self compassion. Warmly,Elisha

  10. Christine
    March 7, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    My pro-social goal is to find humor in everyday life. I can start today by being in the state of mind that is open to inspiration. Laughter is one of the best experiences in life so why not share it? It is good for the body and soul and we can all benefit from more of it.

    • Barb
      March 8, 2015 at 10:02 am

      I love it! Sometimes, when I’m really down my mother says, “We need a good belly laugh.” It seems, just by saying that, we find the necessary chuckle shortly thereafter! So I affirm your intention. Thanks for sharing.

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