© 2007 William Irvine
The foundational observation is that desires should not be trusted. If we practice mindfulness, we will immediately realize their impermanence; like a child blowing bubbles, one desire will be a phantasm among dozens, constantly moving, eventually fading. Desires compete with one another, and so thick are they that our intellect is crowded out; it plays 'second fiddle'. The most potent desires are the ones we have the least control over, but no desire is really insatiable. Even though they cannot be fulfilled, they can be resisted; our biological incentive system may try to punish us, but it's not the end the world. Ultimately, the only way to truly fight desires is to change ourselves to learn to appreciate -- through philosophy, religion, etc -- what we have, to use techniques both ancient and modern to strengthen our minds against the distractions of the moment. Irvine covers a lot of varied practices within the text for those who develop an interest.
On Desire is a superb work, quite attractive to anyone with an interest in mindfulness. My own Stoic leanings predispose me to enjoy it, of course, but I think it laudable also for demonstrating how our evolutionary history has consequences in our present life; although we'd like to think that natural history is history, a closed book, in truth we are driven by the same instincts today that wrote that book. The thoughtfulness of a work such as this gives us the ability to avoid much of the suffering that nature's book is replete with.
Irvine's own The Good Life: the Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, any book in Stoicism