An image of Lorna Fraser ja seated near a window


Here are 3 great personal development keys to change yourself for the better in harsh and difficult situations. Given that the ultimate goal of everyone’s efforts is to change for the better, we should think that by changing the way we view ourselves and those around us, we can help ourselves instead of waiting for others to offer help which might never materialize. And by adopting a proactive approach to personal development, even in school, anyone can guarantee success through the ladder of educational advancement. 


KEY # 1.         Personal Development can Help to Resolve the Relationship between ‘Self’ and ‘Other’.   


Social interaction may games help with self-improvement - LA Fraser ja
Social Interaction for self-improvement i

As a child, I loved to read books of European origin.  When a mother placed Lorna Doone into the hands of her (girl) child, she did so because she thought it was a good socializing agent, because she would associate herself with Lorna, and improve her sense of self-worth in this way. However, this is debatable, since it would be a long time before we discovered Caribbean writers’ images which reflected the experiences of the majority of us who read. Nevertheless, as we read Lorna Doone, we would have believed in the idea that it was a children’s story presented an opportunity for ‘common ground’ between the European and Caribbean way of life.

For me, ‘Common Ground’ was a myth because it allowed Caribbean parents to believe in a way of life which was not only foreign but might have contributed in no small way to the violence which presently scourges our land. Based on research and experience, my hypothesis is that the violence which plagues present-day may even have had its genesis in some of those same ring games that we used to love so much. And it could be said that even as little children we tried to flagellate that part of ourselves which evolved as a result of the fact that the colonizers were also, oftentimes, affiliated with our own parents.


KEY #2. Accept the Contribution of Research to Ideas on Personal Development


In 2008, I did a research paper, which looked into the problem of how some persons experience a broken world. The paper, Literature, Self and Society: The Ontological Dilemma in ‘Wuthering heights’, Tender is the Night’ and ‘Myal’. These three books were on the English literature syllabus for high school and university, and they have influenced how I dealt with the problem of being born into a broken world in particular ways.

 Books which influenced this research were: 

  • Freud and the Post Freudians (1964) – a history and critique of the work of Sigmund Freud
  • The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1956)Psychiatrist Ervin Goffman attempts to explain the hidden meaning between the behavior and actions of ordinary people who the system has labelled insane.
  • The Divided Self (1960) – A psychiatrist’, R.D. Laing, attempts to make sense of how his patients express their insanity. 

Thinkers and authors who came either before or after Freud fall into three groups.

  • They agreed with him.
  • They attempted to clarify or refine his philosophy.
  • They disagreed radically with him.     

As a researcher, I disagreed with the Freudian approach to development. My study helped me to reach the conclusion that PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH SELF-IMPROVEMENT and SELF -WORTH can add depth to the lives of children who experience the problem of brokenness. 


After being a language arts and communication studies teacher for some twenty years, I decided to work through the challenges of how to deal with the problem offer insights into what is real, meaning helpful, in helping people to move beyond the trap of the Freudian/sexist approach to the meaning of life and how persons trapped in an existentialist hell could find release. This led me to develop a new concept, the overcomer’s lifestyle that seeks out happiness through all the challenges of life. This can be seen in the overcomer’s lifestyle that seeks out beauty of body, mind and spirit.                                                                                                                                             

Involvement in solitary activities, away from being immersed in mindless group thinking allowed the opportunity to get in touch with my authentic self. Here is a list of some of these activities. As the reader, you may   like to adopt some of these or to choose your own for purposes of self-care.

  • walking, up the road or around the block, morning and evening
  •  other nature breaks
  • eating healthy of the island superfoods, yams, plantains, fresh fruit and veggies, plus added turmeric and ginger roots, onions, garlic and pimento berries
  • the above include going to the supermarket, pharmacy or grocery store.
  • social interaction of choice, e.g., church, movies, restaurant online or offline socially distanced (optional
  •  watching/posting You Tube videos• participating in other social media.
  •  writing for pleasure or profit
  •  taking online/in-person courses
  • working from home on projects for online course certification
  • other part time/contract/full time jobs.

CREATIVE WRITING AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT                                                                                                                                                                                             

I tried self-improvement through a lot of creative writing, and you can do it too. The Ghost of Lorna Doone is one such example.

My first experience of the problem of brokenness, and the need for personal development was when I met my father’s side of the family for the first time.

My cousin Plum came to take me to the hill country where they lived. Plum, nicknamed after the ‘Paradise Plum’ candy that we were occasionally allowed to partake of after lunch at school, arrived one Friday afternoon, and announced that I was to go with her to spend a weekend with her at the family’s estate up in the hills of Manchester.

My mother did not protest; indeed, she quickly packed a few changes of clothing in a small brown suitcase, called a grip, and we left by the afternoon bus which took us all the way to Craig. Night was falling when we reached the gate of the estate. I thought that my father would be at the door to meet greet us. Instead, a brown-skinned, brown-eyed woman appeared at the door, and looked us over. Her wavy brown hair, pinned into a tight bun, reflected the tightness of her voice, and my self-worth took a dive when she spoke to Plum, ignoring me altogether.

“Don’t you know that Ralph (my father) doesn’t live here,” she chided Plum. “Why didn’t you send word to say you were coming, bringing her with you. In fact, it’s very inconvenient to have you here right now. We’re having some people from abroad staying here for Christmas, and there’s no more space.”
I was mortified, but Plum was unapologetic, and totally undaunted. “I know what we’ll do, she said, placing her arm warmly around my shoulders. “It’s a bit rough, though, so you have to be strong.”

I nodded, swallowing my tears, and we turned away.

For the first part of the night, every time a draught of night air came through a tiny crack, it passed through the sweater and the nightie, on its way to place its icy breath on my shivering 8 -year-old body. but eventually, I too, slept and dreamt.

I dreamt that a luminous figure stood by the bed and shook me by the shoulder. “Lorna! Lorna!” it called. “John is here with your Christmas present! You have to get up and let him in!”
That was all I could remember of the dream next morning, when I tried to tell Plum and my grandmother and grandaunts about it. They thought I meant that I had seen my grandmother’s ghost. “You can’t see the ghost of a person who is still alive,” they said in unison.

I didn’t argue, because I knew whom I had seen. It was Lorna Doone, and I was right! Later that day, as Plum when it was time to go, Plum made me wait by the overgrown naseberry tree just outside the gate for about fifteen minutes while she ran back inside on a mysterious mission. Finally, she ran out breathlessly, and thrust a fairly heavy, slightly square parcel at me., awkwardly wrapped in beautiful Christmas gift paper.

“Open it!” she said in a loud stage whisper, as she thrust it at me, and smiled. I stared stupidly at her, thinking that it was the first time I had ever seen her smile so wholeheartedly, and she gave me a little nudge.

“Go ahead and open it!” she repeated. “Your grandmother send it for you.” I opened it with trembling fingers, and there lay before me a beautiful, old-fashioned bible. Plum opened it herself, then showed me where my father’s family tree had been carefully noted.

Thus, self-improvement and personal development started for me.

It was the high point of the Christmas of my eighth year, and mamma scolded Plum incessantly at first for getting it for me. However, I loved that bible, and I didn’t care that everyone said it was a sin to believe in ghosts. Good thing they didn’t know that every night, until I was twelve, Lorna Doone would come and wake me up. Then she would read to me from my grandmother’s present which I kept on a small night table at my bedside.

She always referred to it as John’s Christmas Present, and to this day I think of it as such. In fact, all of my studies and all of my writing from that point on, were done as it were, to apply self-help to TURN THAT DREAM of improved self-worth INTO REALITY. For it was my greatest wish then, as it is today, to find out the meaning of that dream, and beyond that, to make it into something of tangible meaning and worth to myself.



Learn to apply character traits you learned here to foster personal development and self-improvement. Hone the creativity and imagination that you need to turn your dream into reality! This is what the author means by ‘getting your dreams to chase you’. See them below.

1. SELF SUFFICIENCY: Don’t be discouraged when it seems that your dream is not going to work out. Like the hero(ine) of the story, you might be discouraged by initial feelings of rejection, but you should be self-sufficient enough to persevere in spite of this.

2. SELF CARE: You can and should accept the challenge to care for your over-active imagination. Recognize that your vivid, over-active imagination can actually be channeled into big, big dreams. Was my imaginary ghost of Lorna Doone influenced by the games we played as children, or the cultural beliefs in ghosts that we held? Who knows? Who cares? But I do know that holding on to your ability to develop your special dream and holding on to it even when things are not going right, is a facet of your ability to dream big dreams!

3. SELF IMPROVEMENT A love of reading books and playing games is the seed from which the creative talents grow, waving in the winds f your imagination. : As children, we used to play ring games a lot around the time I was also being influenced by books such as Lorna Doone. Is there some kind of contradiction? I think not, because both reading and playing ring games can influence the development of your imagination, and hence, your dreams.

The ultimate lesson from The Ghost of Lorna Doone:




OBVIOUSLY, ANY WORK OF LITERATURE THAT a child loves CAN INSPIRE that child to SELF-IMPROVEMENT by setting personal goals and working towards achieving them .

Lorna Doone didn’t influence the games we played as children, but I’m including this picture because we used to play ring games a lot around the time when I was also being influenced by books such as Lorna Doone. Is there some kind of contradiction? I think not, because I think that both reading and playing ring games influenced the development of my imagination as a child and by increasing my sense of self-worth, made me into the person I am today.

Self-improvement may not even be totally dependent on a work of literature: it can be a memorable quote, or someone’s biography, or any other piece of information that inspires you.  However, my advice, though the voice of the ghost of Lorna Doone is this: Hold on to your dreams, for your dreams are the mirror of God’s guides for self-improvement that reside in the depths of your soul.

IN CONCLUSION: The influence of literature on the imagination and other cognitive processes relating to the concept of Self and Others can be damaging to your psyche. However, you can access healing and enhance your self worth through applying the methods which you read in this post. Applying the3 keys of rationalizing beliefs taught in childhood; engaging in research to clarify these beliefs; engaging in activities which act as self-care; and expressing imaginative solutions through creative writing; all these are ways of empowering yourself to resolve the problem of living in a broken world.

LA Fraser ja: 5 Keys to self-improvement in a broken world
Self-improvement through rationalizing beliefs, research and getting in touch with your authentic self.


IN CONCLUSION: When you apply personal development strategies, such as the 3 keys for personal development listed here, for increasing your self-worth, they will give you the best tools that you need to deal with the problem of living in a broken world.

3 great personal development keys











What is the most helpful point that you gained from this post?


I’m an English and Language Arts and Business Communication Master teacher and coach, aspiring blogger and small business operator. I also love psychology and art, so expect to see all kinds of ways that I try to use these skills to help you to explore your concerns here


  1. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be exciting to read through content from other authors and use a little something from their sites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *