This year I vow to feel the refreshing liberation of taking responsibility for my own happiness. It took time, but I may be finally coming into my own.A realization I have made is that life's lessons are unfortunately terribly cliched. And everyone has already talked, written, and theorized everything to death and beyond. But the true magic is in experiencing and coming to realize the enlightened truth for yourself. Give yourself time to experience life in all its forms. Be a part of all experiences - good, bad, and the ugly.
Herman Hesse and many other wise souls have already advocated this philosophy.
As much as I would never wish anyone to go through ugly/bad phases in life, the terrible truth is that ugliness reveals the stark clarity of so many truths. Everything gets distilled and viewed through a sharp prism of reality. It makes you realize what is worth living and all the many many things/people/circumstances that are unworthier than a speck of dust.
Learn to love yourself first. Everything seems to fall into place once you are able to find value in yourself. If you are unsure of your worth, don't expect anyone else to affirm it for you. Nobody ought to, and nobody will. The peace and joy that come from embracing and realizing your own worth is priceless. Consequently, when you come into your own, and live your life in accordance with your true self, you invite only kindred souls into your sphere. Those that see your true self may choose to love you for who you truly are.
When you are considering doing something "right" for the sake of upholding a principle that essentially involves shooting yourself in the foot - pause. It's okay to be self-preserving in such a scenario. Never try to do something "right" when you are sure to suffer the consequences alone for the rest of your life. If you don't stand up for yourself, no one will. Self-sacrfice and martyrdom must be reserved for truly significant issues.
Give the ever-judgemental society in which we live the metaphorical middle-finger by living true to yourself, by reveling in the contentment of such an honest existence. Internal resonance is music to the soul.
Expect nothing from others. Instead, expect and extract everything from within your own vast reserves of self.