To make my desires paramount is what Paul described as having a 'flesh mind' or 'mind of the flesh,' which is a state of death (Romans 8:6). Such a mind 'sows to one's own flesh'--invests only in one's natural self--and 'out of that flesh reaps corruption' (Galatians 6:8 PAR). 'Corruption' or 'coming apart' is the natural end of the flesh. 'Flesh' can only be preserved by being caught up with the higher life of the kingdom of God and thus 'losing' the life peculiar to it.
In other words, when Jesus says that those who find their life or soul shall lose it, he is pointing out that those who think that they are in control of their life . . . will find that they are definitely not in control: they are totally at the mercy of forces beyond them, and even within them. The are on a sure course to disintegration and powerlessness, of lostness both to themselves and God. The must surrender.
By contrast, if they give up the project of being the ultimate point of reference in their life--of doing only what they want, of 'sowing to the flesh' or to the natural aims and abilities of the human being--there can be hope. If they in that sense lose their life in favor of God's life, or for the sake of Jesus and what he is doing one earth...then their soul (life) will be preserved and thus given back to th em."
Renovation of the Heart (Navpress, 2002), 65.