While I do my best to stay organized in order to minimize misplacing or losing things, every now and then something manages to get misplaced... and sometimes by the time I discover it's missing, I need it right away. I've also noticed that I'm most likely to notice something missing when I'm in a hurry to go somewhere and don't have a lot of time to search.
CONDUCT BASIC SEARCH
The first step in finding something that's gone missing is to conduct a basic search, making sure that it's not actually right nearby and we somehow missed it. A good basic search involves:
(1) Retrace your steps to where the item was last seen and where it might have traveled,
(2) Ask anyone nearby if they've seen it,
(3) Ask the item to show itself by asking aloud a question my mother taught me when I was very young, "Now if I were keys on a keychain, where would I hide?"
(4) Tidy things up while searching. Putting things together with other similar items creates a systematic process of elimination, making it easier to spot the missing item.
WIDEN THE NET
Expanding search categories so more of your brain is involved in your search is a natural process. Researchers at UC Berkeley have found that your brain calls in backup to find lost things. We typically organize objects in one of 1,000 categories in our mind, in such a way that when we see something we can assign it to a logical and easily retrievable location in memory. While this may not in itself be all that remarkable, recent neuroscience studies conducted at UC Berkeley have shown that when study participants are asked to look for something in particular, such as a person, their brains can be seen to widen the net of possible categories. "... their brains also commandeered the brain regions responsible for perception of animals, body parts, action verbs and natural minerals and shifted them toward the perception of people. Likewise, when participants were seeking vehicles, the categories of tools, devices and structures were also stimulated by representations of vehicles."
QUANTUM PHYSICS TO THE RESCUE
If you've tried all the above steps and still can't locate your missing item, it's time to pull out all the stops and resort to some truly amazing natural processes. As it turns out, nature knows a few tricks that physicists don't, including how to utilize quantum coherence in natural processes such as photosynthesis. What does this have to do with finding lost things? Plenty. Just as scientists are now learning that plants try all possible pathways in order to maximize efficience of light absorption in cells by virtue of a process called quantum coherence--so too can we take advantage of the fact that as many physicists believe, we and every object around us exists in a superposition of states.
The basic concept is this. If you're looking for lost keys, for example, envision there is more than one reality in which your keys exist. In some realities, your keys seem to be completely gone, and in others your keys are nearby in a perfectly accessible place. You are now seeking one of many possible realities in which your keys return to you. Without getting overly concerned with which particular realities have your keys and which don't, it's best to adopt the attitude seen in many a "Missing" poster that reads, "No questions asked." In the realm of quantum physics, in which Shrödinger's cat is either alive or dead, we don't so much care about the details as to which of many possible universes the keys come back from, as long as they do return.
HOPE FOR REALITY SHIFT!
Once you've focused your attention on what your seeking, so as to expand your ability to find it (with more of your brainpower actively being put to work), it's time to lighten your mood a little... and relax. Saying "Hope for reality shift!" the way my daughters did when they were young is actually an excellent way to feel a bit more light-spirited, thereby making it easier for you to make a jump between parallel worlds of possibility.
Get inspired by reading real-life reality shift stories posted at RealityShifters, and included in the book, Reality Shifts: When Consciousness Changes the Physical World. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of hope that missing things really can reappear... right out of the blue!