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Discovering the various paths to greatness

GAINING unprecedented insights into the mindset, habits, and methods of those who have triumphed in their personal and professional lives can add value to one’s own approach to life moving forward, according to entrepreneur and business reality show host John Aguilar, who has written a book filled with such insights.

Methods to Greatness: Lessons of the Mind, Body, and Soul from Asia’s Top Entrepreneurs, Athletes, and Icons is his second book published by Penguin Random House SEA. It follows his extensive playbook for business pitching, The Art and Science of the Pitch, released in January this year.

At the Aug. 22 launch, Mr. Aguilar told BusinessWorld that the new book goes a step further than the previous one by unveiling different ways to success, based on his interviews with various Asian personalities.

Some of these people he had spoken to for his personal podcast of the same name, Methods to Greatness, which ran during the lockdowns. Many he also managed to film for the upcoming accompanying documentary series (also of the same name), which is set to air on CNN Philippines.

“The people that you will read [about] who are part of the book are those that I was inspired by, and they come from different walks of life, from entrepreneurs to world-class athletes to cultural icons,” said Mr. Aguilar.

What binds the chosen personalities is that they can be admired for the various paths towards greatness that they have taken, he explained.

The book features interviews ONE Championship heavyweight champion Brandon Vera; Toby Claudio of Toby’s Sports and RUNNR; coach Chot Reyes of Gilas Pilipinas; Jose Magsaysay, Jr., founder and CEO Potato Corner; Olympian pole vault champion EJ Obiena; Nameeta Mahtani Dargani of The Art of Living Philippines; Dennis Anthony Uy of Converge ICT; and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.

To condense their insights cohesively, Mr. Aguilar divided the book into three parts — Mind, Body, and Soul.

Potato Corner’s Mr. Magsaysay, for example, gave his thoughts on the mind, sharing that mental health comes first and that “the role of psychotherapy in his life was to help him stay healthy,” all while running a successful food business and balancing time with family.

On the other hand, Toby’s Sports president Toby Claudio provided his advice on honing the body to improve one’s life. For him, exercise can change a lot.

“When stressed, I’ve found that an hour of cardio exercises can suddenly make the world a better place,” he said at the launch.

As for the section on the soul, Mr. Aguilar gave the floor to Nameeta Dargani, founder of the Philippine branch of multinational humanitarian agency The Art of Living Foundation. She talked about the power of breathing.

“The breath is tangible,” she said. “Your thoughts can be like a kite flying all over the sky, but when you focus on breathing, it can serve as a string that brings you back to the ground.”

Because the experiences and bits of advice given in the book vary greatly, it highlights how each journey is personal and diverse, said Mr. Aguilar.

“Through this book, I hope that people will not only learn the methods but also discover their unique paths toward greatness, be it in physical or mental well-being or in shaping their visions for the future,” he told BusinessWorld.

He also teased that his third book with Penguin Random House SEA will likely come out next year.

As for the docuseries, which has yet to be given a release date, it will take the book’s lessons up a notch by capturing novel experiences and business ventures that Mr. Aguilar and his team will pursue.

These include his preparations as a member of the national team for the 22nd Asia Masters Athletics Championships and his global collaborations with governments, organizations, and individuals. The series will cover the domains of health, wellness, sports, and travel.

Though it remains to be seen when the show will air, the Methods to Greatness book is available globally through Amazon and Kindle, and in the Philippines through Fully Booked, National Book Store, Shopee, and Lazada. — Brontë H. Lacsamana

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