Hakim al-Umma Shaykh Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“I observe that lot of people are expecting that their self-reformation (islah) will happen by the spiritual attention (tawajjuh) of a pious person. They also expect that by reciting special litanies (wazifah) or by using an amulet (t’aweez) their lower self (nafs) will be fixed to act on Shariah, and they will not have to do anything (that is, use self determination, courage and act appropriately).
Remember! This is a very big mistake.
Your nafs and Satan are misleading you!
The islah-e-nafs (reformation) does not happen without struggling and striving (using self determination, courage and acting appropriately against one’s desires and wishes).
The spiritual attention (tawajjuh) and litanies (wazaif) are for increasing the luminosity of a reformed nafs. They open the path in forward direction. “
Mawaiz-e-Ashrafiya vol. 11: Taqwa wa Tasawwuf