1. The law of Lens: Who we are determines how we see others.
What determines what we are?
And he says that if I am trustworthy, I see others are trustworthy. He says the factors that influence what are are are genetics for the major part and then our experiences, our attitude and our self image and our friends.
So what can we change or improve?
We cannot change genetics and there is a classic question of whether we should work on weaknesses or our strengths. I think the author has given a very good answer to this question.
When it comes to character issues, work on your weaknesses. When it comes to your talents, work on your strengths.
I somehow feel this is correct intuitively. I feel, that I should be more courageous, and not being courageous enough is a big drawback. Hence I cannot avoid improving it if I have lead a better life unconstrained.
I am strong in English language skills. My friend is strong in Mathematics. I sometimes feel if I should improve my maths skills and have tried various ways of improving it - reading vedic maths and shakuntala devi's books etc. but they have never been sticky... but I have been voraciously reading books after book. So I also came to Maxwell's conclusion that I should better work on improving my character but when developing our talents, with little efforts we can become very very good in our strong areas whereas a small improvement in our weaker areas seems to take a lot of effort.
Regarding friends, the difference between what we are now and what we will be five years later will be the people you spend time with and the books you read. So he advises us to choose our attitude well, have good self-esteem, select good friends and read good books.