If you’ve got a horrible job or a destructive addiction and you don’t fix those problems, it’s because, deep down, you really don’t want to change, according to Sevda Hussein.

Sevda, the 115th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, speaks from bitter, hard-won experience.

Sevda was abandoned at birth, had a series of unhappy fostering experiences, left home as a teenager, spent the next 25 years as a sex worker and developed a drug addiction along the way.

When she was 40, she heard a motivational talk and realised, after years of questioning her choices, that now, finally, she really wanted to change. 

So she did.

Sevda quit sex work. She moved across the country. She studied spirituality. And she wondered: what next?

Eventually, Sevda decided to study psychology and counselling. Now, she works as a counsellor and motivational speaker.

Sevda believes the root cause of much of our unhappiness is not being authentic. We don’t want people to see who we really are, so we live a double life and make harmful choices. 

That used to be Sevda’s reality. But, one day, she wanted to change, and start living an authentic life. So she did.