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.

17 Comments

  1. Barb
    March 10, 2015 at 9:05 am

    The next 21 days will focus on my own self care. After spending years helping others, I am giving myself permission to work through the trauma of the neglect and abuse of my childhood. I had no idea one could devote time to loving oneself. Thanks for providing a wonderful resource.

  2. Andrew
    March 10, 2015 at 8:38 am

    I am just starting this and want to introduce myself to the community.

    I have always felt a lack of purpose and a sense of separation from the world and everyone in the world. I have mostly felt that I am on my own in getting along in the world and have only myself to depend on. So I believe this has added to the perception of being marginalized and not worthy of happiness or inclusion in any form of community. And I only need to look at the past to confirm this perception as being my reality, I have behaved badly in many instances since early childhood and these memories only add to that feeling of uselessness and depression.

    I have been involved in several self help groups and spiritual pursuits and still feel a lack of empathy and compassion toward others. This may help with all that.

    • March 10, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      Welcome to this community, Andrew. I, too have been on many self-help and spiritual journeys in my lifetime. Once when I was taking some class or other, my mother-in-law said to me, “You are always trying to improve yourself.” I replied, “Well, there is a lot to improve.” It wasn’t until I began accepting myself, warts and all, just as I am this minute, that I understood it wasn’t self-improvement I needed (to find peace and happiness,) but self-understanding. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t understand half the crazy things I do, but on the other hand I do understand half the crazy things I do. And more often than not, I am having fun just being on the journey.

      This is only my second day participating in this class, but I am having fun just reading and listening to people both in this community and in my life. I hope you will have fun too.

  3. Donna
    March 10, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Day 5 – Prosocial Purpose: Respect for Others. Reflecting on today’s message about letting go of deeply held beliefs and stories that limit you, I realise my tendency to keep myself in my comfort zone. I’m training as a health coach and just coached a co-worker who has just received certification to be a yoga instructor. She got a call today from her studio, asking if she could sub for a class tonight. She accepted but then started to have worries and fears about not enough time to prepare. I encouraged her because I’ve taken yoga with her and I know she’s good at what she does. I reminded her about breathing and being in the moment and with the flow. I even had some handy quotations I could recite like fear is excitement without the breath and perfection is being in the moment, with the moment. Now I will mindfully take my own advice and take every opportunity I identify to step out of my comfort zone to become what I might be. Wishing blessings of well-being for all……

  4. suzy
    March 10, 2015 at 7:51 am

    I am starting day one. I immediately went to my go to answers for the three questions. Then, after reading some of the other comments, I realized that I am exhausted. I work at a domestic violence shelter. I do need to have more compassion, listen better, be more mindful, have more self care, but even those feel like alot of pressure. How many things am I responsible for? When can I step back a little and relax? That’s my thought for now. Ease up a little and not to have such huge expectations for myself.

  5. Angela
    March 10, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Today is Day 1 for me. I am deeply grateful for this e-course that comes during a time of transition for me. For me right now, acceptance and not judging is important. I would like not to be defensive when someone touches a nerve, and to practice being more open and responsive to others. I can also turn that judgmentalism on myself, which is not helpful.

    When I find myself focusing on negative comments by another, I will focus on the person’s good traits, practice compassion, and will work not to argue or defend myself. When I have a negative self-judgment, I will breathe and focus on the word “acceptance.” I will practice letting go.

    This practice will help to reduce conflict and harshness, promote loving interactions, and help me to stay open to others so that I don’t shut down. It will help me be more giving and responsive.

  6. Vee
    March 10, 2015 at 3:21 am

    I’ve decided on kindness. I realise that not only do I need to spread kindness, but that it needs to start from me and I’m not always very kind to myself.

  7. Joanie
    March 9, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Interesting to see when I am filled with compassion for the strangers and friends in my life, I forget to be afraid and remember to give it away. I am not usually a joiner of groups but this forum seems unusually fluid and open. I give you all my smile and my encouragement! You are such an inspiration, each of you. Thank you.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 9, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Beautiful.

  8. Walia
    March 9, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I am on day one and am working with compassion (and self-compassion). I work with folks who have experienced trauma and I am aware of the impact that my state of mind and body has on their sense of safety. My purpose is to stay aware that each person I meet is doing the best they can. Practicing self-compassion that I am doing my best will make me more able to be there for them in an open curious and non-reactive state.

  9. March 9, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Day One. My purpose for the 21 days is to listen to people (including myself) as mindfully as I can. Recently, I applied to work as a volunteer at a local hospice because I want to be with people who are actively dying as a way to prepare for my own death. While I am waiting to be accepted as a volunteer, my intention is to practice listening to everyone I come in contact with.

    This need to be heard, is something I experienced as a child, but had no understanding of what it was. As one of the youngest in a large, noisy family, I was often overlooked, and for the most part, I preferred it that way. My poor mother was overwhelmed by us all, and I avoided attention from my older siblings as much as possible. I was known in my family as Baby Ang, because it was easy (and apparently very entertaining) to make me cry.

    One time, while waiting alone at night in the family car for my older siblings to return on the bus to take me home, an older student came up to me and said, “Are you waiting for the bus to arrive?” I nodded yes, and then she said, “It seems like it never will come.” I burst into tears. Finally, someone understood me!

    At the time, I had no idea that was the reason I was crying. In fact, I was horrified by my tears. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed. What is wrong with me? God, what a big baby! My siblings are right. Baby Ang, that’s me.

    When I was in my 50s, I told my older sister to please not refer to me anymore as Baby Ang. She was shocked that it bothered me; she thought of it as a term of endearment. Really? I didn’t see it that way, and by telling her so in a calm and clear manner, the name lost all its power to make me feel small and helpless.

    So, for the next 21 days, I will listen and read the comments posted here. If I hear or read something that makes me cry, I will know that it just means, “I heard you. Me too.”

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 9, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      So beautiful Angela, I feel grateful to be here with you. ~ Elisha

    • Angela
      March 10, 2015 at 6:07 am

      I was heartened to see your comment. I too am planning to apply as a volunteer for my local hospice. Listening and being present is such a gift. I wish you well.

  10. Carla
    March 9, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Feeling like what’s needed is self-nourishment, so that I am in a better place to be of more service and more compassionate to myself and others. I’ve started a self-nourishment menu. It’s a simple listing of what nourishes me, in non-food ways, so I feel my sense of purpose in a more meaningful way. It’s about coming home to myself and then having the honor and beauty of passing it on.

    • Nancy
      March 9, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      I love the idea of a self-nourishment menu. I’m always thinking about eating healthfully but what nourishes one spiritually, emotionally and intellectually is a great idea I think I will borrow.

    • Elisha Goldstein
      March 9, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      This is the power of a community :).

    • K
      March 12, 2015 at 1:24 am

      I too love this idea, thank you! Once I wrote a list of what brings me happiness and I though of an example or two for each of my senses. Maybe combining your idea and mine will create something beautiful!

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