I turned 40 today.

I spent the day at work, like I’ve done essentially every weekday since I was 20. Over half of my life has been spent in this routine.

When I was in my 20’s I was fortunate to have an older coworker, not my boss but more of a mentor. He helped me set a deliberate and thoughtful career plan, to check in on progress toward this career plan, and use this career plan to guide my decisions regarding my career.

It was a fantastic exercise. I do love my job, and I love my job because I deliberately set a plan to get it. You’re a lot more likely to like where you end up if you planned to get there in the first place.

But as much as I love my work (I make tools for surgeons to treat heart-patients), work for most of us is just that; work. What about the rest of my life? My relationships? My free time? What do I want the rest of my life to look like outside of work?

Why do we ask kids, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Instead, why don’t we ask them, “What do you want your life to be like when you grow up?”