There were two big discussion points that emerged from my lunch with Kian Ghahramani, the 47th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers.

First, as Kian reminded me, if we don’t properly value ourselves, we can’t expect others to either – apt advice, given that Kian is an accounting, tax and business expert with RSM.

Kian was speaking in a business context, and was talking about the price we charge our clients. However, his advice is just as applicable in a personal context. If you undervalue what you offer the world, don’t be surprised if others do too.

The other big discussion point that emerged from our lunch was about understanding why we do what we do.

Many of us work hard and make sacrifices. Why? So we can achieve a big goal that lies on the distant horizon. But what happens when we reach the horizon? We discover that it’s now further ahead. 

So why, if we can never reach the horizon, do we do all this work and make all these sacrifices? Are they really a means to an end? Or do they become an end in and of themselves?

Both our big discussion points were really about stories – those we tell ourselves and others.