If we actually want spiritual advancement, we have to be willing to perform tapasya to attract the attention of God to show Him we are serious, to show Him that we are depending on His causeless mercy.
99% of our spiritual advancement depends on the quality of our chanting.
Chanting before the deities, Tulasi and Sad-guru gives quick advancement.
According to one’s faith, one makes advancement in devotional life.
Even to come to the stage of appreciating the good qualities of other devotees requires a certain degree of advancement.A neophyte devotee won't be able to do that.
We can understand our real spiritual advancement by how we are actually taking joy in giving respect and honor to others and not how we are taking joy in being respected and honored ourselves, even if it comes.