Your Intention and Science:
The Trident Exercise 

Science has something to say about intention. Knowing what intention is and awareness of this research will help you talk about intention with your co-workers. Whether you are a visionary leader, volunteer or project team, you often work with others to realize your intention.


Here I offer 2 definitions of intention–one that is used by researchers and another that you can use to understand your personal experience.

Science Highlight 

Researchers have defined intention as a “purposeful plan to perform an action.” They test whether intended thought affects physical reality.

Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab conducted 2.5 million trials over 25 years to demonstrate that human intention can influence electronic devices in a specified direction.¹ Sixty-eight investigators replicated these findings. This tells us that focused intention can have some effect on physical reality.

Your Personal Intention

For most of us, a more general definition of intention is useful. Intention is a purpose that you desire to experience. ² This definition emphasizes the uniqueness of your personal intention. It comes from you, not from someone’s expectation of you. You feel good when you think about your intention. This feeling is something you sense in your body.

The Trident Power Exercise

The Trident Power Exercise is a focused way for you and your work-group to identify, activate, and follow through with your intention. The exercise allows you to feel a physical sense of well-being in relation to your intention. In addition, like the research-based definition of intention, the exercise holds a place for action and a plan.


For example, I have been part of an emergency-preparedness group in our neighborhood. Over the past year, we’ve contacted 40 households who have expressed interest. We’ve hosted info meetings. We became stuck, however, when it came time to actually gather and organize our household preparedness materials. The Trident Power Exercise helped me to continue forward with this project.

Rather than continuing to host meetings, our 5-person group is holding a neighborhood potluck with tables showing our e-prep plan and results. We are encouraging other neighbors to form groups of 2-4 houses to support each other in monthly preparations. We are available as resources. The ideas about the party, tables, and small group pods came from team members. We have transitioned from one small group leading the way to multiple smaller groups with a road map and community support.

¹Lynne McTaggart. The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World. New York: Free Press, 2007, p. xxvi.
²For examples of intentions, see my blog Write Your Intention: First Steps.