Interfaith_council_homeless_9I was sure glad I met with Bill Johnson at Starbucks last week.  Bill has been a friend over many years from my days at Arthur Andersen.  It is always great to have a chance just to stop and visit with a friend, but it was more than that.  In our discussion, Bill’s story reminded me, through reflecting back on his journey, that each experience throughout your life may very well be a piece of your development to prepare you for a future experience that will be your greatest contribution.  It certainly seems to be the case in Bill’s story.  Having grown up in a very segregated southern state, I don’t think Bill would have ever seen himself in the twighlight years of his career serving the inner city homeless of Chicago as Executive Director for the Interfaith Council for the Homeless.  I don’t think he could have pictured it during his fast-paced and demanding long-term career at a high profile professional services firm like Andersen either.  Bill’s first job, after leaving Andersen, was probably not exactly what he was looking for … a children’s summer camp over in Michigan.  It was an unlikely logical next step.  And I have no doubt that Bill could see absolutely no silver lining in the tragic storm of his son developing an addition to serious drug abuse.  But at Starbucks, he assembled the puzzle together for me so that I could see what he could see … a collage of experiences that prepared him to make what may very well be the biggest contribution he could ever make during his time on earth.  It reminded me that the importance of what you are doing today may not be realized for years to come … and that not knowing the value of what you are doing today is never an excuse to give it anything short of your very best effort.  As I listened to Bill describe his work today … and heard the passion and sense of fulfillment in his voice … I could see it all so clearly.  So give today your best shot … Carpe Diem … but realize it may have more to do with tomorrow than today.