I was running out the door to catch another plane when I grabbed a book to help kill the few hours between cities. It had been given to me by one of my wife's relatives over the holidays and I had tucked it away on the book shelf until now. I don't know why the cover caught my eye today. Maybe it was because I was pondering some questions, or it could simply be the fact it seemed thick enough to fill the time.

As I sat waiting for the time to board the plane, I opened it and started to read the explanation behind the book titled, This I Believe. My assumption had been that it was going to be another feel good, inspirational story, which it definitely is, but it turned out to be so much more.

This I Believe is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. In creating This I Believe, Murrow said the program sought "to point to the common meeting grounds of beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization."

As someone who is passionate about radio, I was surprised to have never heard of it. It was such an amazing idea. It started as a program that featured successful people from the stage, art, science, politics and so on sharing their personal beliefs that guide them. It wasn't long before the listeners started to write in and suggest that the program not only feature famous, well-known individuals, but also share the beliefs from people in all walks of life.

The program acted on those recommendations and went on to be a major success. It was aired on radio stations all across the country. It also had the essays of these folks featured in two best selling books, and even went on to become a huge success in London and elsewhere. It ended when one of the major financial backers pulled out.

It was several years back when Jay Allison and Dan Gediman resurrected the idea. Now, This I Believe is a national media project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives. NPR airs these three-minute essays hosted by Jay Allison on All Things Considered, Tell Me More and Weekend Edition Sunday. They have also released the new book which features many of the essays from the 1950 series, along with new beliefs from famous and some not-so-famous people of today.

According to their website, in reviving This I Believe, Allison and Series Producer Dan Gediman say their goal is not to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs. Rather, they hope to encourage people to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own.

As I read the various beliefs of the many individuals of yesterday and today, it got me Tuned In to examine what I truly believe. Jay Allison really sparked my thinking at the start of his introduction to the book. He says, "This I Believe offers a simple, if difficult invitation: Write a few hundred words expressing the core principles that guide your life - your personal credo."

Many of us have merely accepted or taken on the beliefs that someone taught us at some point in our life. Others started to be programmed from an early age and think they should believe something, so it has stuck. While for you, it may be a situation where beliefs have been tested and confirmed from much experience and searching for the answers. Eboo Patel may have said it best in writing his essay. He said, "Action is what separates a belief from an opinion. Beliefs are imprinted through action."

I know from my own life experience that many of the beliefs I held as truths early in my life have been exposed through action. I inherited many of those early ideas from my parents, my environment and early mentors. As I grew beyond that circle of influence and took action on new ideas, it wasn't long before I started to create my own personal beliefs and shed some limitations from the past. I understand we see the world through our own eyes and hear it through our own years, and it certainly will be different from person to person. However, it's that power that gives us the ability to take action and test our personal ideas to form a truly personal identity.

I don't want to give the impression that these beliefs are bad, because many of you are very comfortable in following inherited/taught beliefs. I only challenge it to have you get Tuned In to what YOU truly believe and examine the possibilities that may come from taking control of this area in your work, your money and your life. You may simply confirm the status quo or you may discover a new direction that inspires you to take new action.

I feel that I am still struggling with what I truly believe. I have been exposed to so many beliefs throughout my life and honestly, it has been easy to see the good in many of them for myself. After reading the book, I have started to take some time to write down the core principles that guide my life. I feel that by looking closely at this area, it will help me to find a firm position that will guide me to new heights. I challenge you to get Tuned In today and find those beliefs for you too.

Author's Bio: 

Sammy Simpson is a Eventr, marketing specialist, motivational speaker, author, consultant, and communication expert.

Sammy's first audio book, "Tuned In-What's Your Format?" is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013QW4MM?ie=UTF8&parent=B0013R66AW%3C...