Lisbeth Salandar - the girl with the dragon tattoo - is the antithesis of the conventional girl next door. She's amply pierced and decorated and socially maladroit. She's also an expert in her field. Whatever her difficulties with "normal" people, she can bring a computer to life.
Her past has so many dark corners, it makes a polygon look straight. In fact, her history is so overwhelming, it has the power to shape both her present and future. If she lets it, the damage done to her by others could poison her perspective and ultimately eviscerate her hope. And, it's that possibility which brings us to the dragon tattoo.
The conventional view, of course, is that dragons symbolize the danger in our lives. They are the embodiment of evil in many a knight's legend and child's fairy tale. Whether they're breathing fire or swinging their spiked tails, dragons wreck havoc on innocent people.
The answer is in its location. Lisbeth's dragon tattoo is on her back. She put it there to prove she has vanquished the beasts in her life. Their evil is behind her. They no longer have the power to influence the way she sees her present or her future.
So, here's my advice for 2012 (and every year thereafter): Follow Lisbeth's example. Be very good at what you do AND put your dragons behind you. Stamp out their power to shape your present and your future. 041b061a72