Late Sunday evening I landed at Montreal airport after being in an intensive three-day conference, followed by a whirlwind 24 hours with my BFF, Lisa, in Boston. My brain was buzzing with tons of ideas. Since I only had US dollars, I stopped at the airport cash machine for some Canadian currency. The money emerged from the machine and I grabbed my receipt and walked away. I would have kept walking if a man hadn’t tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, but I think that machine just ate your bank card.” Sure enough, that hungry airport bank machine had eaten my card.

Had I been conscious of my physical actions rather than dancing with all the ideas in my head, I would have been where I needed to be to retrieve my bank card BEFORE I walked away!

Even though I did feel a bit stupid, it wasn’t the end of the world. In the back seat of the cab, I made a call to my bank. They cancelled that card and will be sending me another card in the mail.

However, this event got me thinking. This sort of thing happens to my ADHD clients all the time. The steps in Untapped Brilliance help reduce the amount of times that they happen, but they are still going to happen from time to time. If the lost item situation can be dealt with promptly and effortlessly, it doesn’t have to be any more painful or emotional than watching your favorite TV show.

The phrase “Hope for the best, plan for the worst” comes to mind.We don’t want you to lose things, but if you do, it’s good to have a plan.Here are four steps to help you handle a lost item in stride:

1. Remember, whatever it is you have lost – driver’s license, passport, bank card, cell phone, laptop – they are all replaceable. The main thing is that you are physically safe and well.

2. Don’t criticize or feel bad about yourself when something is lost. It happens to everyone. The lady I spoke to explained that it happens all the time. That very day, a person had lost their 78th card.

3. Create back-ups! If you have a back-up plan, then the loss itself isn’t going to be so great and you won’t be thrown into a frenzy.

a. List all of your important items: passport, bank card, driver’s license, cell phone, etc.

b. For each of these items, make a photo copy or write down the information. For your cell phone, record telephone numbers.

c. Keep all this information somewhere at home and safe! It could be in your filing cabinet or a fire-proof safe. You will know a good place for yourself as you are reading this.

d. When you realize you have lost something, take action straight away. Don’t procrastinate! This minimizes any problems, e.g. someone else using your bank card, and it allows you to move on without mulling for weeks over how unorganized you are or other negative messages you tell yourself.

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