The Top 6 Posts After 6 Months of Castles in the Air

The question is not who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me. – Ayn Rand

After 6 months of Castles in the Air, with nearly half the time here at the new site and the beginning half at, I’m very happy to have so many readers, visitors, and friends through, because, and due to this blog. I read somewhere once that most blogs and non-commercial websites that are self-launched die after 4 months, so to have made it through the very potential early death phase is a good sign of progress. :) Yay!

The survival of this blog is also due largely to you, the readers of Castles in the Air. With never-ending support, encouragement, feedback, and constructive criticism, I may very well be not as inclined to continue pursuing my efforts as such. With that, thank you. You guys are awesome!

With my writing here, I also try my very best to provide extremely valuable and useful content as possible, such that it challenges one’s thinking, the standard viewpoints in society and life, and to change ourselves for the better through the art of minimalism.

I want to inspire others to not only learn more about a minimalist lifestyle but to also take action. Ideas are great. Acting on the ideas is even better.

The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline, Chris Guillebeau has said. An actual time frame. Because we all have ideas. We all have dreams (at least, I hope you do). We all have visions for a better world. But the question is: what are we doing about it?

My goal here is to help others change the way they’ve always viewed things and life to be to what it could be — absolutely extraordinary.

But what makes me feel like I have the right to do this? That I’m even “authorized” to speak on such topics of changing one’s life for the better, for eradicating overt consumption, materialism, and a sinking feeling of depression when you realize stuff doesn’t make you happy?

Here’s my brief story of what I’m all about:

I’m a radical minimalist who writes about changing the way we view and think about the world through minimalism, thus, empowering others to take positive action in their lives.

Brief, right? Thereby, a minimalist explanation of who I am and what I’ve set out to do.

Here’s the thing. You may not agree with everything that is written here, and that’s very good. If we all thought alike and had the exact same viewpoints, how dull would our world be? Lively discussions, ridiculous arguments, curiously outrageous debates, and intellectual-philosophically induced debacles would simply not exist.

Keep in mind, however, that I am not here to write in order to please everyone. My writing is certainly infused with my personality, will contain “outlandish” and “radical” ideas, thoughts, suggestions, and tips for a better world and better, more minimalist life, and for some, they simply do not understand or want to understand such lifestyles and ways of thinking. I am okay with that!

We all have people in our lives that we just can’t get along with or understand no matter how hard we try or how bad we want to. When we learn to accept it as is, we can then move on to help others add value and positivity in their lives.

It is my sincere hope that you will continue to find Castles in the Air an integral part of your online time, where you stop by here and there just to say hi, like you would an old friend. Leave a comment, send me a message on Twitter, or e-mail me. I love interacting with you and to hear from you that what I’m writing here is empowering you to change your life for the better.

So with 6 months having gone by since I begun Castles in the Air, I thought it to be nice to include the top 6 posts during these 6 months.

If you haven’t read the following posts, take some time (don’t do it all in one sitting, it’d be information overload!) to read them over the next few days. And most of all, enjoy them!

Here’s to another fantastic 6 months!!

The Top 6 Posts After 6 Months of Castles in the Air

Number 6: The Story of How It All Began: My Path to Minimalism

Many people over the years have asked me how I’ve become a minimalist, how this even all started, what prompted me to get out of the cycle of consumerism in order to free myself to live simply.

This post is how it all begun.

Number 5: Free eBook: Questions to Ask Yourself

People just love free stuff!

Just look at any college campus fair, career fair, open house, recruiting events, etc., and you’ll see loads of keychains, pens, pencils, bags, computer mice, mouse pads, magnets, notepads, stress-relief foamy things, water bottles, mugs, and the like, all embroidered and emblazoned with the company/school/organization’s name, mission, website, and more.

It doesn’t matter that you’re not a State Farm insurance customer, or lover for that matter (what if you chose Allstate instead?). It doesn’t matter you’re not going to the University of Michigan (you’re more inclined to go to Ohio State instead). It doesn’t matter that you don’t work for Boeing (you just like their cool free pens!).

So even though human tendency, when it comes to free stuff, is to grab, take, and dash, I really hope this free ebook helped you, even if you weren’t sure what you were going to read when you downloaded the ebook.

But from what I’ve gathered from those who have read it and enjoyed the book, it sounds like it was a pretty sweet deal. And if you haven’t read it yet, feel free to download it now!

Even my friend Matt Madeiro at Three New Leaves did a book review on his blog!

For more wonderful, awesome free ebooks (and other fantastic ebooks for purchase), check out my friend Colin Wright’s ebookling site. He just did a relaunch this week and it looks great!

Number 4: My Dream of Freedom

Written in mid-July, this post originally documents my thought process as to how I’m going back to my roots where my passion lies in Writing and Art.

After many years of neglecting my inner creative self, by dampening this lively and wildly passionate spirit that is in me because I bought into the notion that these “creative arts” were not realistic and I should just grow up and stick with my “real job,” I came to the conclusion that I need to be true to myself and live my life according to what makes me infinitely happier.

Sure, there will be resistance. A lot of it from those who want you to stop challenging the status quo. Yes, there will be negative feedback. On how you’re so impractical, unrealistic, and a dreamer with his head in the clouds. (Which, by the way, never listen to these folks. Don’t let anyone stop you from following your heart’s calling, ever.) And guaranteed, there will be hard times.

But if I didn’t choose to pursue my passions and create my own personal dream of freedom, I will still always be met with resistance, negative feedback, and hard times, regardless of the path I’m on.

Might as well be a path I’ve chosen for myself, rather than blindly following someone else’s.

Number 3: 70 Things (Before, it was 84 Things.)

People have a tendency to gaze, look at, peek at, and pretty much have a bit of voyeurism infused in us. We’re just curious creatures, that’s all. So when I took pictures of my actual bedroom, closet, and things each time I moved to a new apartment and had a new listing of what those things were, people just loved it!

Moreover, it’s just the fascination of living with less than 100 things. How can this be possible? To live on such little possessions? Well, this life, the one you read about at Castles in the Air, is saying it’s possible, very much so. I even wrote a whole book on such possibilities, entitled The Radical Minimalist.

As I continually evolve, grow, change, and learn, I will inevitably change what I own from time to time. It’s just natural. Like a haircut, after a while, things start to get old. You may want to just chop it all off, shave your head like Leo Babauta, or grow it out long. Who knows?

I will, from time to time, post a new listing of my things, any challenges I’m having with it, and other insights of a radical minimalist’s life for you to read about. If it inspires you to start decluttering, getting rid of all that junky stagnation in your life, wonderful! And if it’s just out of mere curiosity that you read about a minimalist’s life, that’s cool too!

I’m all about authenticity and being as transparent and honest as possible. Some people will think that’s taboo, that I shouldn’t share everything. To each his own, I say. Sharing things like the intricate details of how my first launch went with The Radical Minimalist. Or how I experienced the worst night of my life after my mom and I got into the biggest fight of our lives that lasted nearly 3 hours and I cried for 7  hours straight and was practically kicked out of the family, after telling her I wanted to be free, happy, and pursue my dreams of becoming a full-time independent writer and artist. Things like that.

Number 2: Things You Never Have to Say When You Don’t Have a Job You Hate (aka The Trough Effect)

Ah, The Trough Effect. It’s the truth we know all too well but just don’t say it. Well, in this post, it’s said.

Stop playing games with your life and start realizing what you’re doing to yourself.

If you’re in a job you hate, do something about it.

And read this post on how The Trough Effect is powerful (but how you’re more powerful than it) before you start trashing your cube on your way out as you’re being escorted after giving your boss the middle finger. (Which, by the way, I do not advocate!)

Number 1: Career Liberation? More Like Career Suicide! (And Why I’ve Made the Decision to Quit … Yet Again)

A liberating, powerful, and controversial post … this was written from the heart and ringing with the truth I’ve discovered.

This truth, that my life was not supposed to play out the way others have planned for me, is shocking. Because once it’s been discovered, it beckons one to take action upon realizing this truth.

Inaction is also action.

It’s just merely staying where you’re currently at, never mind that you’re completely miserable where you’re at. Whether that be in an unhappy marriage, a depressing and energy-draining day job, vampires you call your friends, the cycle of watching TV day in and day out, mindlessly consuming anything and everything around you … it can make anyone just want to walk away and never look back.

So what is inherently holding us back?

Demands from parents and family you know you will never be able to please, no matter what you do or say? Pressure from your job to always put in more, more, more but over the years, you’re getting less, less, nothing? Expectations from your peers to look a certain way, act a certain way, work in a certain field or industry, and have a “normal” and average life?

To a certain degree, yes, these people can have the power and influence to hold us back. But not 100%. The rest is up to you. You and only you.

This realization can be too much for some. But for me, though I’ve been met with such negative feedback and how those who criticize say, “WTF?! Are you crazy?,” this has made me so much stronger, fervently driven, and infused with the powerful belief that I can and will achieve my dreams.

Join me, as I continue to blaze my own path and create my own freedom! Remember, Nov. 22 is the date I’m handing in my 2 weeks’ resignation.

Now, onto more numbers, as if you haven’t had enough of that already from the numbers post.

The Stats:

  • Approximately 82,443 words written in this entire blog that spans around 202 pages if you put it all on a Word document
  • 10,200+ unique monthly hits
  • 223 followers on (are you one of them?)
  • 200+ subscribers
  • 79 posts, including this one
  • Dozens of great friends met through this blog medium … and many more to come, I suspect!
  • Dozens of wonderful opportunities presenting themselves

Numbers speak for themselves. Sometimes, we need the hard data, the “evidence,” of so-called “success.” You know, the metrics.

I even threw myself a miniature party when my Twitter following hit 100 (and by miniature, it was me, myself, and I and all I did was spend some quality time to myself on a day off of work). Now the count is over 200, considering I just signed onto Twitter 2 months ago. Yay! Okay, that number is considered very, very small as compared with other influential bloggers (like Leo, Everett, Colin, Francine, Tammy, Ash, Adam, Joel, Srini, Tyler, Corbett, just to name a few), but for me, this is a success that I’m influencing others enough that they will want to “follow” me.

Remember, success is all relative. You need to define it yourself, according to your own terms.

And yes, it does feel great to see my subscriber count go up! That folks will want to read my blog posts as soon as they are published.

And it’s wonderful that so many people from all around the world visit this blog (such as Norway, New Zealand, France, Australia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Japan … wow, the list of countries goes on!).

But deep within me, I know I have already met great success by being true to myself, by listening to my heart’s calling, and by seeing others change their lives for the better through my writing. That is true success to me, and it makes me so happy to feel joy within when I can inspire others.

Thank you everyone. Join me in my own minimalist revolution as we change the way we view and think about the world through minimalism. You can check out my new ebook The Radical Minimalist for more inspiring and provocative thoughts, tips, and insight into what it means to be a radical minimalist. A free 20-page preview can be downloaded here.

The great and majestic Colin Wright has a video interview of me regarding The Radical Minimalist on his ebookling site. This is the first video I’ve ever made as a blogger so I hope you enjoy it! Get to hear my actual voice behind the words you’ve been reading all along. Finally, read my guest post on the positive and extraordinary Matt Madeiro’s blog Three New Leaves here on the pursuit of a life worth living as a radical minimalist. :)


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View Comments

  1. Really enjoyed the video at ebookling :)nnCongrats on 6 months! I’m nearing it too (next week officially!)nnKeep being awesome Nina!

  2. says:

    I always liked #6 as you shared your personal story of the start of your change. Very nice. Congratulations for the first 6 months…and to many many more months of great posts!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You’ve been a great inspiration for me, Nina. Keep chugging along and being happy.nnxo

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