Harv Eker, the bestselling author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, had become an accomplished coach and teacher to countless entrepreneurs and aspiring professionals.
However, each time he traveled to his hometown of Toronto, Canada, to teach a special monthly program, where his father would pick him up from the airport and drop him off, one question always pressed upon him.
“I always wanted to ask my father one question and I could never find the courage my whole life to ask him,” says Eker. “My father and I, we had a very strained relationship. He was a very tough guy, a very tough guy. And he took it out on everybody around him and especially his son which was the only and the firstborn male.”
Eker’s father was very traditional and wanted his son to be tough and become the man he knew he could be. However, his lack of affection caused Harv to grow up never knowing how his father felt about him.
So he’d pick me up at the airport and I’d go,
‘How ya doin?’
‘Good. [Yelling] Do you have to ask so many questions?’
That would be a good conversation.
Eker swore to himself that one day he’d ask his father the question that he had been burning to ask all those years.
The question of a lifetime
One day, while his father was picking him up from the airport for his regular program, Eker summoned the courage to ask the question:
‘I have a question for you.’
‘What do you want?’
I take a big deep breath and I go, ‘Dad, how come in my entire life, you have never, ever, one time, ever once said to me, ‘I love you’? How come not once?’
Afraid to look over knowing how his father might react, Harv lifted his hand to block his face. But when he finally brought himself to look, he was astounded at what he saw.
“For the first time in my life,” Eker says, ”I’m looking at this man crying. I have never seen this man even close to cry before in my life. Tears are flowing from his eyes, dripping all over his shirt, his chin is quivering.
“And all of a sudden he says, ‘Harv, don’t you know I love you?’” says Eker. “And he gives me a hug and I say to him in his ear, “Dad, I love you more than everything. I love you more than everything.”
Say it while you can
Life’s challenges and the notions that a society places in us from a young age are powerfully influential. They can singlehandedly cause us to live out a life that is not our own, inauthentic to who we are, or simply live trapped behind notions of who we should or are supposed to be.
But on that day Eker and his father crossed over those challenges and stepped beyond all presupposed notions. They communicated their love and realized a bond that would remain in Eker’s heart forever.
“I’m so happy that I finally cleared this with him because just a short time later he died,” says Eker. “And I learned one of the most important lessons of my life: say it while you can.”
“If you don’t tell your husband or your wife or your children that you love them enough you tell them now. If you don’t tell your parents that you love them, you forgive them, you tell them now,” says Eker.
Say it while you can.