Lost and Found: Great Fullness


When Thanksgiving comes around, I feel a sense of expansion, a kind of fullness (even before I eat the turkey) for the people and things that make a difference in my life. Like so many of you, I’ve experienced my share of losses, but with each loss comes something found for which I am grateful. I don’t always see the “founds” right away, but can look back over time and realize that when something is lost, something always fills the void. I would much rather focus on the founds. If you choose more focus on the “founds” and less on the losses in your life, you too may feel a sense of “great fullness”.

Some of my own losses and founds that come to mind:

  • Lost: a corporate job. Found: a calling
  • Lost: corporate colleagues. Found: a community of friends.
  • Lost: steady paycheck. Found: payment for work I love.
  • Lost: corporate politics. Found: helping clients traverse corporate politics.
  • Lost: Bessie, my beloved canine friend. Found: Edgar, my beloved leadership pug.
  • Lost: someone else’s vision. Found: my own vision.
  • Lost: self confidence. Found: self confidence.
  • Lost: creative streak. Found: creative streak.
  • Lost: worrying about what others think. Found: myself.
  • Lost: people I couldn’t trust with anything. Found: people I trust with my life.
  • Lost: success defined as collecting “things”. Found: success defined as helping others.
  • Lost: two lovely daughters to marriage. Found: two lovely sons-in-law.
  • Lost: grey hair. Found: blonde hair J

This is a fun, uplifting exercise! What have you lost which helped you to find great fullness?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and great fullness to you! I think I’ll take tomorrow as a day off from blogging……Lost: a day of work. Found: a chance to reflect and be grateful with loved ones.


I am a former executive in a Fortune 100 company. I have owned and operated an executive coaching firm since 2003 called Aspire Collaborative Services LLC. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. This blog is for leaders and those who help them to be more intentional about relationships at work. My top personal values include respect for others, kindness, compassion, collaboration and gratitude. I work very hard at practicing my values daily and when I don’t succeed, I practice some more. I am married with two wonderful daughters and two spoiled pugs.

11 comments on “Lost and Found: Great Fullness

  1. Hi Mary,

    My most favorite lost and founds:

    Lost: worrying about what others think. Found: myself.

    Lost: people I couldn’t trust with anything. Found: people I trust with my life.

    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  2. Mary Jo,

    Our “lost and found” departments look fairly similar. Except that I’ve discovered reddish-brown hair. (wink, wink)

    What a fantastic way to view the world– reframing what we’ve given up with what has replaced it.

  3. I loved this! True: for every lost there is always a FOUND!!!!! And I know you and I are there to help people FIND their own. Happy Thanksgiving, Mary JO.

  4. Yathi, those are my favorites too.

    Jennifer, it is so much more positive to think in these terms, isn’t it? (Hmmm…..I wonder when I’ll be ready to re-find my grey hair?)

    Monica, we rarely think in terms of what we’ve found when we lose something. Thanks for your support, and being a kindred spirit.

  5. This is a great read to allow me to slow down and take the time to reflect on my founds. I’d have to say that some of my lost and founds are: Lost:free time Found: a sense of purpose and Lost: fair-weather friends Found: true friends. I could go on forever thinking about my “founds.” I’m definitely thankful for my founds.

    I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving.

  6. This certainly takes a shift in thinking to look at things this way. It’s tough, because the “Losts” are usually a lot more painful, and sometimes, memorable. However, if you do make that shift, the impact on your life could be incredible.
    Thanks for the great post.

  7. Hello Mary Jo,
    What a great perspective. Focusing on the “founds” instead of the “losses” provides for a great outlook on the trial and tribulations that come with living. Here are a few of my lost and founds.

    Lost: Free time. Gained: Enjoying time with my daughter.

    Lost: Sleeping through the night. Gained: Being my daughter’s hero by getting rid of the scary monsters.

    Lost: Sleeping in late. Gained: More time to share with family.

  8. Mary Jo,

    You have a great perspective on life. It is great that you can correlate something that has been lost with something that has been found. I too have been able correlate many “losses” to many of my “founds”, but recently I have not reached all the “founds” yet. When I catch myself in this situation I am always intrigued by what I might find. Thanks for the post.

    -Mike

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