From the time I was a child, I thought it would be so cool to celebrate something on February 29. Birthdays, anniversaries — imagine having them roll around every four years or so like the summer or winter Olympics or the presidential election:

I’m 12 leap years old today! (That’s 48 regular years.)

We’ve been married for 10 leap years. (That’s 40 years.)

Alas, it was not meant to be. So, instead, I like to use February 29 as a day to look at my life and ask myself, “Have you taken any leaps in the last four years? In your career? In your personal life?”

My answer to that question is usually yes — or at least I aim for it to be. At the end of December, I took a literal leap when I went ziplining for the first time with my family in Cancun, Mexico, but really when I’m talking about is taking a leap of faith: having the courage to embark on something when you’re not sure how things are going to turn out or how that journey is going to end.

I’ve always believed in challenging myself to do better, be better — a little something I picked up from my mom — and to do that you need to (if I may quote Col. Nathan R. Jessup from A Few Good Men) “roll the dice and take your chances.” If you succeed, your world will have grown and you will have grown right along with it. If you fail, you will have learned a little something from the experience, so that you can try again next time.

A win-win.

A colleague and friend called me this morning to ask my advice about whether or not she should embark on a new project, never having done that particular type of work before. Without hesitation, I answered, “Of course.”

It has been said that every journey begins with a first step. As far as I’m concerned, why not make it a leap?

Have you taken any leaps in the last four years? In your career? In your personal life?