After reading Leadership and Self-Deception, which is an excellent book, I have come to the conclusion that I have been living my life in the box with self-deception. During conversations with my husband I sometimes felt that I was a large part of the problem. After reading this book I realized that I was the number one problem. I also reflected on a person I terminated at my job. During the termination meeting I explained that she was a major problem to the company. Unknowing that I contribute to her lack of success. I was so frustrated at how she performed and my unwillingness to coach or mentor her largely because of her attitude. But what I learned from this book is that I MUST begin to live my life putting others ahead, in a healthy way of course. The description of self-deception in chapter three, “The problem of not knowing and resisting the possibility that one has a problem”, really hit home for me. I totally had no idea that my life was in a diseased state of self-deception. I’m now committed to working my way out of the box and intentionally taking the time to understand the needs of others and approach their needs or desires in a positive perspective.I could relate to the story Bud shared about his abrupt business trip right after his first son’s birth. Bud talked about having his office on the 21st floor isolated from his colleagues. He later found out that food was served, negotiations happened, and other perks were available on the 25th floor. After finding that out, Bud felt like someone should have told him what was happening on the 25th floor. He blamed others but not his self. Very often I isolated myself from people and then later wonder why I never get invited to events others have or why others don’t purpose in their hearts to strike up a conversation with me. I often felt other people should speak to me or approach me. I wondered what was wrong with them. But I thank God for my strength which is, my willingness to change. I am committed to seeing and treating people as people. Inviting ways to engage them. I truly want to do better and believe some of my, in the box, emotions stem from fear, of which I have been praying for deliverance from. In my need to be prefect over the years I have developed this spirit of fear. Which the word of God states, ”For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. (2 Timothy 1:7) Fear is an unpleasant emotion that I will strive to turn into Faith in God’s power, love and a sound mind. As Christians our thought process must always weigh heavily on approaching people in a positive way. I am a childcare director, over the years of supervising a variety of staff, there has been a need for me to guide or coach different people. I remember one day as I entered the lunchroom, an assistant teacher was hollering at a child. She responded, “STOP IT”, in a rather loud tone. My immediate reaction was to ask her in front of children and staff, why are your yelling at him, but I walked over to the child and asked are you supposed to be sitting at the table eating your lunch? He replied, yes! I continued, well, you know when you swing back in your chair like that, you could really hurt yourself. I know you don’t want to do that right? He replied right! I said, “so I’m going to need you to sit properly in your chair while you eat”. Later, in my office I told the assistant teacher, “I’m sure you were afraid that he would fall and possibly hurt his self, but here are a few ways to handle a situation like that in the future. I continued by giving her a few scenarios. We must always approach people in a way that shows them we are committed to helping them succeed. Psalm 32:8 (ESV) tells us; “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will counsel you with my eye upon you”. We should never be inconsiderate of a person’s needs.Leaders must offer compassion. During the government shutdown there were a few single parents at the childcare center where I’m employed. One morning I overheard a parent telling the center’s greeter that she waited in line for hours, the night before, with her son at a food bank only to receive food that had expired. This saddened me. When this mom came back to pick her son up, I asked to speak with her. I took her in my office and shared with her the conversation I overheard that morning. After which, I gave her two grocery gift cards and informed her that she needn’t be concerned about paying her son tuition until she returns to work. Now, I could have said to her, that’s terrible, you should report them or something totally useless to her and remind her of the contract she signed when she enrolled her son that stated, ‘tuition is due every Friday’. That would have been inconsiderate and very selfish. However, when I gave her the gift cards and offered her the deferment, it gave me great joy in doing thus says the Lord, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”, Galatians 6:2(ESV) As leaders, the interest in others must come from a loving and caring manner not a selfish or belittling behavior. It is vital that we know who we are, what we are and what we are capable of doing. We must be aware of our feelings, our desires, and our cravings. The bible tells us that we were made in the image of God, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”. Genesis 1:27 (ESV). Therefore, if we don’t develop a healthy mindset we compromise our ability to be like Christ. When we cultivate self-awareness, we have the ability to reach others in a way that is pleasing to God. “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity…”, Titus 2:7 (ESV) I’m reminded of the time my mother-in-law transitioned. She was in a hospice center. The evening she died, my husband three siblings and their families arrived before her body was taken to the funeral home. There was a lot of traffic in the hallway, but at no time did any of us linger there. The head nurse continuously made negative remarks about our whole family being there one of which times my husband and I were passing each other in the hall. The nurse came out while I asked him if he was ok, he had just left his mother’s room and I was going to the ladies’ room. The nurse said, very rudely, you are not allowed to stand in the hallway. My husband continued to the family room. As I left the ladies room, I went to the nurse’s station and asked to speak with the nurse in question. I said to her, do you think what you said and how you said it was necessary? She responded, ‘said what’, very rudely again. I repeated what she said and told her in a very polite and calm manner that she was very rude and that she showed no compassion or empathy for my husband who had just lost his mother. This nurse most assuredly was not practicing self-awareness.Tolérance is a characteristic of a person’s, attitude, behavior, and self-centeredness I could go on and on. But the word of God talks about the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”. Our tolerance must include patience, which is essential for all, with the promise that we will be happier people. It also includes respect which is a priceless heirloom that is grossly overlooked these days. A healthy dose of respect is powerful and important. Generosity, much like tolerance, has to do with a person’s attitude and behavior. People show generosity through their intentional deeds of giving, i.e. time, presence, advise, or material things. When you intentionally give other people are grateful because of your giving. Showing gratitude to others is considered positive not to mention its simply good manners. Just like every other thing in our life, positive acts are much more powerful than negative acts. Consider this, each night before going to bed take time to (1) give God thanks for all He has done, (2) give God thanks for what other people have done for you, which could have been as small as holding the door for you, (3) but most of all, give God thanks for what you intentionally did for other people.