Take Action, Experiment Like a Child

This Moving Intention Message introduces you to the topic of ACTION, one of the four doors to power in the Trident Exercise. In this Science Highlight, we learn that adults who are taking action on something new get results faster when they experiment like a child. I watch my granddaughter take puzzle pieces and keep turning them until she finds a fit. It’s OK not to have all the answers right away. Sophia McCoy, Founder, Moving Intentions.

Science Highlight


Research on how children learn something new can tell us adults about how to take action on a new project. Adults focus on details to learn.¹ Children just experiment on getting the ball to where they want.  Research shows that when adults practice more like kids, they get results faster.

How might this finding apply to volunteer action?

This past year, our neighbor Barb started an earthquake preparedness action in our neighborhood. In many ways, it was an experiment. She invited a couple of us to reach out to our part of the street. The City sent out an Americorps volunteer with info on earthquake preparedness. We took it from there. After a few meetings and door-to-door visits, people were comfortable with giving emails and phone numbers. I met people whom I hadn’t talked to for 10 years.


Barb created refrigerator magnets with emergency tips. One group researched water resources. I created an emergency kit for our car. I met more people at a larger area meeting. We have created a volunteer network by trying what works for our group of people.

In these Moving Intentions articles, we offer strategies for action, because ACTION is one of 4 aspects of power in the Trident Power Exercise for Activating Your Intention. In the process of fulfilling your intention, ACTION addresses who does what, when, how, and where. One of the questions around action can be: How detailed does your plan need to be before taking action?

To lay your foundation for taking action, practice the Trident Power Exercise to Activate Your Intention. To get started, click here to watch the Trident Power Exercise video.

¹Caroline Williams. Mind Expanding: How to hack your attention span.” New Scientist, October 1, 2014, dn26294.