Gratitude in the Now

Brian Reh
| Apr 26, 2018
“Now. This moment. Be grateful. Now. This moment. Be grateful. Now…”

That is the voice in my head that I programmed to repeat over and over again in the final miles of this year’s Boston Marathon. It was my seventh time trekking the course that travels from the quaint town of Hopkinton to the finish line on Bolyston Street. And this year was like no other. Imagine 35 degree temperatures with the hardest rain you’ve ever seen…propelled by a 20 to 40mph headwind…every step of the way. Before stepping off the warm bus into that typhoon, I was terrified. What on earth was this going to be like? What should I wear? How much should I drink? What if I slip into a hypothermic state? What will waterlogged shoes feel like? As these questions and more swirled my brain, I swear I spotted Noah on a nearby hillside readying his ark.
I could spew for hours about the thousands of pre-race jitters and stories that I collected that day. But as you might guess by now, I made it through the race. Somehow I managed a decent personal time and am experiencing extreme gratitude to have had the opportunity to face such a mental and physical test. 


Gratitude. Now that’s the word that I want to talk to. Because in recent weeks I have been intentionally pulling it into my conscious mind on a regular basis. This pattern started back in February when some wisdom from a leadership coach rubbed off on me. He spoke of the power of gratitude on one’s mental wellness and suggested a strategy for how to bring gratitude into focus…on the spot…now. The thought was this. Whenever your mind is in an anxious state thinking about a regretful moment in the past or is fretting a future stress or is just getting in its own way, STOP!...take some huge, deep breaths…and focus on the NOW. Focus on the immediate moment that you are standing in. And notice how good that moment is. Compare it to a hypothetical situation that is worse (a little or a lot). And notice how GOOD you have it…right now. As examples, notice that your hunger is satisfied (versus not), notice that your clothes are clean and comfortable (versus not), notice that you slept in a warm bed last night (versus not), notice, notice, NOTICE. And then notice that gratitude comes rushing in. It comes at you for noticing the little things. For noticing how fantastic the present moment is (and thus how fantastic your life really is…since we live in real time…in THIS MOMENT…not the past and not the future). I have to say that this little mind tactic has given me incredible, positive results. My gratitude cup runs over.

So back to Boston. I had the privilege to raise money and run for a charity this year; The David Ortiz Children’s Fund ( This is their third year with a marathon team and my third time running for them. Their mission is to help underprivileged children in New England and the Dominican Republic receive lifesaving cardiac surgeries. The money our marathon team raised this year will save 28 kids’ lives…as well as provide peace of mind for their families. My goodness, the thought of positively impacting these lives strikes me with overwhelming power. So as I found myself trudging through the cold, windy rain, I thought about those kids. And I thought about how good I have it. And I thought about how tough the life challenges have been for those kids and their families…and how my temporary pain was a joke in comparison. And I thought about how much gratitude I have to be able to run…to have my health…to have my family and loved ones…to have a warm vehicle waiting for me in a parking garage…to have my in-laws cheering for me in the pouring rain…to bless the rain for watering the grass…to have the opportunity to help others…and, in short, to have “enough”.

Gorbel® lives each day pursuing our Mission to Improve People’s Lives. Somehow I got dealt the charmed hand to be a part of this organization. And guess what? I am grateful for that! Every day I am blessed with the opportunity to see our products move out the door on their ways to helping someone work safer, lessen the load on their bodies, increase their productivity, or even learn to walk again. Our marathon has been a 41 year race…and continues to yield a steady pace of innovative, gravity-defying products and services that Improve People’s Lives. While not every moment in that journey has been easy and I know we’ll face challenges we don’t see coming, my commitment is to consistently plan for the future while living and celebrating in the NOW. Gratitude is attitude.

How about you? What would it look like for you to allow yourself to pause and notice the now and celebrate it with gratitude?

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