x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Life lessons: Gavin Esler

BBC Broadcaster Gavin Esler shares his life philosophy.

Gavin Esler offers his life lessons.
Gavin Esler offers his life lessons.

1. Privacy is dead. We live in a world of instantaneous, globalised gossip. The idea that there is a "private" sphere and a "public" sphere for world leaders, politicians or anyone in the public eye is slowly disintegrating. The death of privacy will have a profound effect on who our leaders will be in the future.

2. Trust is the key. There is so much unreliable information on the internet and in the media. Nobody is infallible, but it is important to have trusted guides when it comes to information. Whom do you trust?

3. Life is about relationships, not transactions. We are all here for the long term. In a nutshell, my philosophy is this: this is the only life I'm ever going to have, so shouldn't I at least try to be happy? Those who view every day as a battle to get on top, or those companies whose leaders talk endlessly about "maximising shareholder value" probably will not succeed in the long term.

4. People who speak in clichés think in clichés.So much of what we read, see or hear, especially from those who are in positions of power, amounts to a recitation of clichés. If people speak in tired, worn phrases they almost certainly think like that, too.

5. Stories are important. I've been very lucky to meet and interview all kinds of interesting people, from world leaders such as President Clinton to cultural leaders like Seamus Heaney. The stories we tell about ourselves - and that others tell about us - help define who we are. That's why leaders spend so much time telling stories about themselves to define their image.

As told to Jemma Nicholls