When the pious noticed how this worldly life controls those who follow it and how the devil leashed the souls, they turned to the sacred yard of invocation and supplication similar to how a hunted animal runs for his safety, in fear, to the sacred Masjid. You see them walking while they wear garments of sufficiency and putting on their face the mask of self-content so that “An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint.” (al-Baqarah 2:273) They sleep as less as a submerging person would sleep and eat as less as a mourning mother would eat on the day of her calamity because what sorrows damage, is more than what consolation builds.
Only those whose hearts are insightful can recognise them; for the declaration of their high rank is written on their foreheads in a foreign language that only those who know can read. They observed the consequences of action with the eyes of their hearts and so they could not find any obstacle keeping them away from their goal [i.e. Paradise] except their self so they searched for a trick with which they can suppress it; a trick that neither Ibn Hind nor Ibn Al-As, may Allah be pleased with them would even know of. As they implemented it they succeeded to bottle up their self in a manner that is more violent than that of Ibn Tamaljam for indeed they have bodies of men and hearts of lions.
As the stormy wind of thoughts is instigated and so it turned over the lands of hearts upside down. Then the seeds of strong will and endeavours have been thrown inside the lands and watered with the rain of hard work upon which life revived in the branches of good relation [with Allah] and so the blossoms of this relation flowered. When they see the remembrance of Allah, the fragrance of light spreads out, which has a smell that is better than musk that empowers the souls of those who seeks the pleasure of their Lord.
No worthwhile results can be achieved unless there is an element of risk involved! So, you whose endeavours are feeble, know that profit is gained only by riding the stormy seas because the precious pearls lie at their bottom; knowledge is attained by sacrificing sleep, and lightness is sought through self-denial.
He who seeks glory ought to pursue it earnestly because when a person searches for pearls he must dive to collect them. When Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, forsook everything for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, he earned the praise of Allah and His Messenger, and when Ali Ibn Abi Talib divorced this worldly life thrice to ensure he would never return to it, he deserved Paradise to yearn for him [as its inhabitant].
Seeds of Admonishment and Reform by Imam Ibn Jawzi Pages 139-141