The book covered this in-depth, but the basic idea revolves around stoicism and your ability to keep calm when anger and anxiety won’t help to improve the situation you’re in. A great example is being stuck in traffic; you’re stuck either way, and remaining tranquil versus cursing out other drivers is a going to leave you in a better state of mind. Of course, it’s much easier to say that while sitting at a keyboard versus sitting in backed-up traffic, but it’s something to always be considering.
From the book itself, author William Irvine put it this way:
If you consider yourself a victim, you are not going to have a good life; if, however, you refuse to think of yourself as a victim—if you refuse to let your inner self be conquered by your external circumstances—you are likely to have a good life, no matter what turn your external circumstances take.
Generally speaking, stoicism is great philosophy to try to live by. Like I shared a year ago in “React to drama with a mind like water“, it’s fantastic if you’re able to react to what needs a reaction, and remain calm and tranquil in all other situations.
I encourage you to check out Irvine’s book when you have a chance.