It’s finally time to unpack the most colourful advice in Get Up. I have been waiting a long time to unpack this baby, and wouldn’t you know, this advice is from no other, than my husband, Dr. Gordon Arbess.
“Colourful”, because it’s direct. To the point. Provocative. It hits home. However, the reason why I think this is the most colourful advice is that out of the over 60 mentors that are featured in Get Up, this is the only quote that originally included some expletive language.
Yup, I’m talking about swear words.
You might be thinking, what’s a couple of F or S bombs? What’s the big deal? It isn’t, really. I just find it fascinating that not one mentor dared to go there.
And I chose to keep Get Up swear-word free. Replacing with asterisks, I typed. And now, the quote looks great, in my opinion. Let the reader think of their own word to replace the astricts.
Before we dive into the most colourful advice that explains what Gordie would tell his teenage self, let’s get to know my favourite family medicine doctor from St. Michael’s Hospital.
Who is Gordie Arbess?
“I’m a family man. Someone who likes to have fun and spend time with loved ones. Participating in things that I enjoy doing, such as traveling, playing tennis, biking, hiking, and skiing. I’d like to think of myself as a devoted and dedicated doctor that cares for marginalized patients. I’m also a teacher, as I work with medical students and residents, helping them become the doctor they wish to be.”
What is the most meaningful lesson you have learned so far in your career?
“I find that there are two lessons actually – To listen and learn. When you practice medicine, you learn every day. There is so much knowledge to gain because there are always new treatments and evidence. Sometimes my students pick up on things or insights that I may not have known. There is also a great deal of learning I get from listening to my patients. When this happens, I take a step back and really listen to what they are saying which encourages me to change my typical reaction that may not suit their needs. Medicine is a constant listening and learning curve.”
What do you like to do after a long day?
“Spend time with Sharon Neiss. And of course, our kids, and friends. Biking. Skiing. Enjoying a nice long walk outside and watching a good series on Netflix. after a long hard day, it’s good to laugh. Recently, I have been enjoying Curb Your Enthusiasm. I know I’m late to the game, but I actually never saw it before.”
Editor’s note: Yup. It’s true – you can hear Gordie laughing in every room of the house.
What do you find meaningful about being a physician?
“The act of trust. Every one of my patients shares their laundry list of things that ail them and it is my duty and privilege to keep all that is shared confidential. In order for the latter to occur, my patients need to trust me, and I hope that they do.”
What have you learned about being a father?
“How different each of our kids is, and with that comes refraining from the idea that I should have the same expectation from all three children. Not everyone is made the same way with the same interests. This has been a humbling experience, but a rewarding one at that because now I get to enjoy spending three unique experiences with each child.”
Time to unpack your quote! Here it is – the most provocative advice! What did you mean by:
Don’t get too caught up in what people think of you. Who the $%&# cares? Just be you.
“Most of our neurosis and anxieties stem from what we think people think of us. I don’t think that is a healthy way to go about life. Listen to your gut and believe in what’s important to you, especially if you feel strongly about it. Be bold and don’t hesitate. The right people will appreciate your authenticity and be right by your side.”
Thank you, Gordie, for sharing your tough love advice that you would give your teenage self. Direct, to the point, and just a little colourful, just the way it’s supposed to be.