As 2010 draws to a final close, I wanted to share one final piece with you before we flip the calendar to show “2011.”

Over the course of my first annual “renegade” reviews, I’ve looked back on “the year that was” and hopefully have given you some background and insight on how and why my writing, life and blogging have developed and changed over the last 12 months. The year was a very formative one, in which I found much needed direction.

With no further ado, here are 20 bits of “accidental wisdom” that were somehow written by my hand in 2010, and 10 invaluable life lessons that I learned over the last year — and am sure I will continue to learn more about in 2011 :)

What did you learn this year?

20 Bits of Accidental Wisdom from 2010

1. “When you reject a shortcoming as a failure, what remains is only a varying degree of success.” -January 2010, For Dreamers to Circle the Wagons

2. “Even on the darkest and most dreary of days, the sun shines still — if we look high enough.” -February 2010, The View from Above

3. “Within the heart of every being, there lies a seed of Hope.” -February 2010, The Small Stuff

4. “Our thoughts reflect perfectly like a mirror to reveal the inner workings of our minds — the subconscious perceptions that we hold about our individual senses of Self and all of those around us.” -April 2010, Thoughts are a Reflection of Ourselves

5. “Politics is like business, but the business is people. And there’s something naturally unsettling when real people are treated only like figures, tools and profit.” -May 2010, The Journal I Never Kept: The Interview

6.“The ego refuses to forgive because it wishes to hold another as a hostage. Refusal of reconciliation is it’s the final line of defense: the last bullet in a chamber of attempts at redemption that have long since been expended.” -May 2010, Forgiveness is Liberating: Free Yourself and Others

7. “The lessons contained within those similar-sounding speeches of motivation to graduating students all over the world are meant to inspire one thing: living with honesty.” -May 2010, The Journal I Never Kept: The Echoes

8. “A true leader stays committed to the message and the greater task at hand, not for those who are following, but because the leader believes in the message itself.” -May 2010, Speak As If All Listen, But None Follow

9. “Devoid of the clutter of noise, we are nothing more or less than in existence; we are because we are and the universe is because it is. Engulfed in simple silence and nothing, the mind is quiet, the heart is open, and the Soul becomes clairvoyant; this is the bliss of nothingness.” -May 2010, The Clutter of Noise and the Power of Silence

10. “The irony is something beautiful. As we suffer, we become entrapped in our suffering. We cannot think of or focus on anything but ourselves and our pain. And yet, when we make a concerted effort to focus on others–especially, giving to others every day, even through seemingly trivial acts of kindness and smiles and good deeds–the pain and suffering in which we have become entrenched begins leave us.” -June 2010, How to Alleviate Emotional Pain and Suffering (By Giving to Others)

11. “We are each born as the spiritual equivalent to a fresh block of stone. Life is our mason; it shapes a statue of who and what we become, underneath.” -June 2010, You Are a Stone; Life is Your Mason

12. “When we strive to become happier and more positive, work to foster a stronger and more compassionate spirit and become better people, we explicitly place attention on the development of ourselves for the definite betterment of those around us.” -June 2010, How to Focus on the ‘Self’ Without Being Selfish

13. “Abandon what is wrong. Relinquish what you fear. See the wonders of life. Kill your ego and escape your mind.” -July 2010, Trapped in Your Head? How to Escape Your Mind.

14. “What if we strive to cultivate genuine meaning in every human interaction?” -July 2010, Treating Others With Compassion

15. “Too many souls shall pass idly through life without blooming into their fullest and most vibrant of colors.” -July 2010, Four Life Lessons Taught by Nature

16. “Within each of us beats a single heart. That heart dictates a rhythm, a flow, a swirling state of constant change and progression and evolution. But there is a bigger heart, somewhere beyond; something that dictates a rhythm, a flow, a swirling state of constant change and progression and evolution not merely within our own skin but among and around all of us — everyone.” -September 2010, Embracing the Commonality of Love: Love’s Language

17. “Because pain is such a widely shared trait or ‘affliction’ of the human species, it’s as if there exists ‘one suffering’ that each of us similarly endures to various degrees.” -September 2010, One Suffering: Beyond Uniqueness, 6 Hardships We All Endure

18. “Self-love really is about recognizing that there is no externality that human beings require to achieve completeness, happiness or inner contentment. All that we require is wholly within.” -October 2010, How to Love Yourself in a World Designed to Foster Self-Hate

19. “A romantic relationship between two human beings also exists in an ever-changing and constantly evolving state. The relationship, like the individuals within it, will ebb and flow, change and regress, evolve and encounter states of difficulty and strife. It will go through periods of growth and regression.” -November 2010, Relationships: How to Avoid the Someone Special Crutch

20. “Through our eyes alone — revealing gateways to the human soul — we attempt to connect with strangers who we are likely to never even see again on a deep and spiritual level.” -December 2010, Strongheart: Harvesting Compassion in the Faces of Strangers

10 Life Lessons from 2010

1. Fail in Order to Get Ahead – Success can only come after a series of failures. In other words, you need to fail in order to ultimately get ahead. Instead of fearing setbacks, rejection and shortcomings, learn from them and embrace them as steps to the final goal.

2. Give Beyond Your Means – The most sincere method of giving is to give beyond your means, and even at your inconvenience. This is to be truly dedicated to the ideal of compassion, love, and selflessness.

3. Determination Trumps Doubt – Doubt is natural, but determination will ultimately overcome self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness. Staying determined means remaining fluid and open to detours, innovation, change, and bumps in the road on your path to your dreams.

4. Find Direction By Getting Lost – If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can’t ever find it. If you’re like me, you can only find your true direction in life by getting completely lost in it, first. Lose yourself in order to find yourself.

5. We Often Confuse “Love” for Attachment, Addiction – Too often do we mistake “true love” and romantic love for what is actually attachment — even addiction. These unhealthy afflictions are misportrayed in popular culture and the media to be “true love.” True love is neither attachment nor addiction, because love is not pain and love does not depend wholly upon another for one’s own happiness and sense of being complete or whole.

6. Everybody Can Be Saved, But You Can’t Save Everybody – Everybody is capable of being saved. No one is condemned to failure in life by their birth, for we all command the same ability and power — the power of choice. Even still, although everybody can be saved, you cannot save everybody. We must trust that each individual is on his or her path and that oftentimes we cannot ourselves save that person — in the end, many people must first learn to save themselves.

7. You Can Always Try Harder – You matter how hard you think you are working, striving, and achieving; you can always try harder. You can always be better. You can always do more good for others. Break what you perceive to be your limits.

8. Because Everything is Change, Anything Can Change – Everything in our universe is in a constant state of change, progress and regression, ebb and flow, life and death. Because everything in our universe is change, anything and anyone can change: any living circumstance can improve; any life can be saved; any relationship can be bettered; anything can be achieved.

9. Love is an Inflation-Proof Currency – Love is a currency, a language, that knows no bounds or limitations to the human species. Love has an utmost — an infinite — capacity to be nurtured, grown, shared, given, distributed freely without chance of it ever being lost, taken away, or fully expended.

10. Be Thankful More Than Necessary Gratitude is a cornerstone to happiness. When you are thankful more than even feels necessary, happiness is reaped, and goodness ensues in everyone around us.

Happy new year. :)

*This piece is a part of personal development blogger Abubakar Jamil’s “Life Lessons Series” at!

Flickr photo credit: wonderlane