Introduction

Throughout my career people have told me that I should keep a diary, detailing some of my experiences as an agent to many of the world's most fascinating individuals.

My work has taken me to many parts of the world in the company of former presidents and prime ministers, business leaders, explorers, sporting heroes, thinkers, authors, and — even better — I get to hear them speak about their views and opinions.

I was always most attracted to those inspirational men and women who really have a story to tell and who have achieved so much, usually against all the odds.Why is it that some people are more successful than others? What is success? What makes a great leader? How does one maintain a level of performance that takes you towards your dream? How do we overcome fear to get to our destination? And how high should we aim?

In this book I have tried to answer these questions by interviewing and spending time with some of the United Kingdom's most inspiring individuals.They all have similar qualities and an unquestionable motivation for life.However one thing I noticed, which is less obvious and that I learnt while writing this book, is that all these people understand what it is like to get to that point of staring fear in the face.Where the majority of us retreat into our comfort zone, these people find a little doorway and move through this fear to attain their goal.
It is that moment, whether deciding to remortgage your house to finance your dream project or business idea, staring down the cliff face of a mountain, or finding that strength from within to fight a battle or win a race, which runs through all these characters.That determination and courage to push through the negative forces and risk so much on a dream is what I admire in them all. It is almost like an adrenaline rush, to reach that point where everything is alive, terrifying, yet knowing that, to get beyond and turn the hard work into reality, you have to step through the doorway and hold your nerve.

Inspire is aimed at motivating readers to live the lives they want, free of fear and restriction. There are valuable lessons and insights that will test your resolve and question your direction but fundamentally the message is a positive one aimed at helping people in a small way to believe a little more in themselves, to go that step further and — most importantly — to smile and enjoy the short journey we take through life.

Oliver Chittenden