I was intrigued the first time I stumbled upon Nina Yau’s website . I followed her for some time and eventually requested a copy of her book “Bitch, Please!” to review on the Yahoo Contributor Network .
I really enjoyed reading her guide for modern women so after a time I requested a copy of her book The Radical Minimalist to review.
I’ve had this book for a time. So long, in fact that I’m sure Nina has wondered if I would ever get around to writing a review.
Honestly, I’ve been stumped.
I’ve read this ebook cover to cover several times since Nina was kind enough to send it to me, yet every time I would open a file to begin this review I would pull a blank. I adore the book but simply could not find words to express this.
This book begins with a warning. Readers are cautioned that the book will free you to enjoy simple pleasures and open your mind, among other things and asks one to take a leap of faith.
Let’s jump together, shall we?
Nina begins with her own life. She is a former consumerist who loved shopping as much as the rest of us. She worked hard to be the average American Girl but felt that, deep down, it wasn’t who she was inside.
Already torn between two cultures as a Chinese American, Nina decided to blaze her own path – and let the Devil take the hindmost.
The first step in Radical Minimalism is to rediscover your dreams and passions. Nina instructs readers to think back to their childhood and explains the reasoning. “What do YOU want to be when you grow up?”
Once you find your dreams and passions, the next step is a small one. Take a small step toward those childhood dreams by enrolling in a class, reading a book – do something with that dream instead of keeping it locked up in a closet.
Nina cautions against listening to the naysayers who will doubtless come knocking when you mention your dream out loud…
….And they will. When I decided to pursue my dream of becoming an author I was met with wide-eyed astonishment and sincere skepticism, even though I had kept it quiet until I was actually earning an income from my work. Even now that I live full time on my writing income I face the shaking heads of the skeptics so please heed Nina’s words of experience upon these pages.
Nina’s next step is a surprising one:
Quit the things that don’t help you accomplish your dream. For me, that led to quitting my day job when I realized that it was hindering my progress as a writer. For you it may mean quitting a class or reducing your social commitments. This is a personal step that only you will know to take.
Along with this is the admonition not to take anything on that does not reconcile with your dream. Life is short; do you really want to waste it doing stuff you don’t enjoy?
These steps will start revealing the inner you. This person may be someone you haven’t really encountered before and will be completely unique as you grow stronger and take more and more steps along the paths that interest you. As time passes you will become less like the crowd and more like YOU. Since the journey is never done, enjoy the path you travel!
While you are at it, leave perfection behind. You will never be perfect, just like there will never be a perfect time to embark on radical minimalism or any other pursuit. Stop analyzing and just do it.
There is more in this book; several essays from other writers, the art of selfishness, what it means to be a minimalist and even how to make those first steps toward living with less.
I could continue but the real magic in thie book is discovering the message for yourself. If you feel stressed, overwhelmed or just unhappy – read this book.
Male or female, read this book.
While I have no desire to live with as few items as Nina does (for example, she only owns 3 pairs of underwear) her message is for everyone and is a siren call to a simpler life pursuing the things you enjoy – really enjoy, instead of the crap that just weighs you down and keeps you enslaved.
You can find her ebook The Radical Minimalist here . Don’t buy it if you aren’t prepared to think about your life however – for your life may never be the same.
Review copy of The Radical Minimalist by Nina Yau.