It occurs to me after much recent contemplation, and some studies which align to what I'm about to say, that the key to avoiding the torn place I mentioned a couple weeks ago is this:
Gratitude, joy, and good things are manifested by continually believing something wonderful is going to happen. So do it. Believe. Expect wonderful.
Expect wonderful for yourself and from the universe, in whatever ways it sees fit.
The self-protection part doesn't negate this approach. It merely means you've taught yourself and embraced knowing that even if and when "wonderful" doesn't happen, you're going to be okay anyway. Life is good when we will it to be so.
We have to believe that, too.