Today’s Brilliance from Paul Dunn

  • My Mum is now just over 100 years old. And until four years ago, our relationship was, shall we say, “challenging.” Like most Mums, mine believed I was still three years old! And she never seemed to get excited at the things I felt I was achieving. Communication did not flow easily.

    Then, it all changed. The simplest way to say it is Mum lost her head. Alzheimer’s disease took its hold. And I realised that for all those years I’d been communicating with my Mum “head-to-head.” Now, the ONLY way for us to communicate was heart-to-heart. And it changed everything.

    Just after her 96th birthday, I visited her in the Retirement Home. I looked down at her 42kg (92 pound) frame lying on her bed and I said to her, “You know what Mum, you’re amazing.”

    “No I’m not,” she whispered. And then something just came to me. “Play a game with Mum” was the message.

    So I said, “Mum, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to count to 3 and when I get to the 3 I want you to say out loud ‘I AM AMAZING.” You OK with that?”

    “Yes,” she whispered.

    “OK, Here we go! 1 – 2 – 3.”

    Mum looked blankly at me. “What did you want me to say?” she asked. She had completely forgotten. I explained again. And this time on the 3 she barely whispered, “I am amazing.” But I went wild with delight.

    “Mum, that was GREAT. Let’s do it again this time as if you mean it with passion and purpose. Ready? 1 – 2 – 3.”

    Again the question, “What was it you wanted me to say?” I explained again. And then again “Ready. 1 – 2 – 3.”

    And this time she yelled as if she knew it, ” I AM..” and as she got to the ‘AM’ two nurses came rushing in wondering what on earth was going on. “AMAZING!” Mum yelled. And we all went wild.

    At that moment, I looked down at her and it was just as if new blood had flown into her. It was almost as if she lifted off the bed. And so I figured this was a great way to make sure she’d reach 100.

    And every day I went in, even though she had difficulty remembering who I was, we’d do the ‘1 – 2 – 3’ until eventually, on her 99th birthday instead of singing ‘Happy Birthday” we stood around and said ‘1 – 2 – 3’ and Mum, for the first time without prompting, said with passion and belief, “I AM AMAZING”. That continues now each and every day.

    And it’s a story I share around the world: not just by telling the story, but by having people in my audiences turn to each other on the count of 3, and with a big high five, they look in the eyes of the other person and say with passion, “YOU ARE AMAZING.” It changes everything.

    Try it tonight when you’re cleaning your teeth (that’s very hygienic!). And look in that mirror, maybe even remembering this story, and just tell the mirror “YOU ARE AMAZING.” Because you are.

    Paul Dunn

    Paul Dunn is at the forefront of management and marketing action on a global basis.

    Paul is an engineer by training but he soon discovered people were more interesting than "things". He began his career in Australia at Hewlett Packard where he was one of just ten people in the Australian start up of the company.

    In 1974 Paul wrote some innovative software that became the basis for one of Australia’s early technological successes—Hartley Computer. Hartley sold its systems only to Accountants in Public Practice. Until 1980 Paul was the marketing genius behind the company growing globally to a $23 Million enterprise.

    In late 1980 Paul decided that his real love was marketing AND speaking so he formed The Results Corporation (TRC). By 1992 his company had grown to a $20 million company serving 23,000 businesses. All told, Paul's audio and video programs are now in use by over 156,000 businesses around the world.

    In 1992 Paul formed Results Accountants’ Systems (RAS) to focus again on Accountants in Public Practice — teaching them how to leverage their skills to create far better businesses for their clients. By 1994 the company had offices in Europe and, most significantly, the USA. By the year 2000, it was serving over 3500 practices and their clients worldwide. Amongst many other innovations, Paul developed the Results Accountants’ Network — it became the largest network of leading-edge Accountants yet seen in the world.

    In 2000, Paul sold his interest in RAS to a) mentor his many friends and clients to give them far more successful businesses, b) continue writing books, c) take a continued interest in leading-edge marketing and service companies and associations, and d) train and mentor other speakers—to give them far greater impact and results. Paul's first book, The Firm of the Future, debued in the US market in April 2003 and is now regarded as a standard text for professional service firms.

    In 2007, Paul was voted Entrepreneur of the Year by one of the world’s largest entrepreneur groups (XL Results Foundation). He owns successful businesses around the world and is passionate about giving back to Social Causes to increase the level of joy in our world. He now serves as Chairman of the revolutionary Buy1GIVE1 organisation, connecting business, charities AND customers in a totally new way.

    He is one of the most inspiring and stimulating speakers you’ve ever experienced. In a heartbeat, audiences ‘get’ why he’s now known around the world as ‘the Wizard of WOW’. The sheer impact of Paul’s material (and the way in which he presents it) always moves his audience to new levels of understanding and action. Paul spends two thirds of each year travelling. He clocks up an average of 200,000 kilometres in the air each year (and his baggage does nearly 350,000 kilometres)!

    For more information, please visit

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