I've been on a mission of sorts to figure out how to continue to lessen my desire for more, and Irvine offers some practical, Stoic techniques. But first, a few things to note about the Stoic school of thought:
-Stoics strive not to be devoid of feeling, but to prevent the onset of negative emotions such as anger, greed + anxiety.
-Stoics strive to enjoy life's pleasures, but not to be controlled by them.
-A Stoic learns that joy comes from deep within + craves no joys greater than these inner joys.
-Stoics work to master desire.
-A main goal is to exist in a state of tranquility or peace of mind.
"One wonderful way to tame our tendency to always want more is to persuade ourselves to want the things we already have." But how? A bit of advice from the Stoics:
-Periodically consider what it would feel like to lose what is already mine...possessions, home, work, people. The thought is that we will be less likely to take these things for granted + will derive more affection for + joy from what we already have.
-Be aware not to cherish possession with "over-much love". Be "the user, but not the slave of the gifts of Fortune." ~Marcus Aurelius
-Ask the question: Am I living the life I once imagined for myself? My past self would be exceedingly grateful for what I have now.
-Consider how our ancestors lived + how others in the world live today (the less fortunate ones). This reminds me of the quote that goes something like, "Someone else is happy with less than you have." ~unknown
It "is foolish to spend your life in a state of self-induced dissatisfaction when satisfaction lies within your grasp, if only you will change your mental outlook."
Irvine offers many more Stoic techniques for increasing tranquility + decreasing negative emotions in various areas of life throughout this book. While I don't agree with everything, I think there is plenty to appreciate about this philosophy of life.