In today's Gospel reading from Mark 8, Jesus said to the crowd, "Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it." Jesus had also said, "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted." It seems that we need to do the exact opposite to achieve what we want. It's the same with making spiritual progress. Instead of struggling hard, we simply abandon ourselves to God. It all comes down to letting God be God.