The problem starts when we try to conveniently compartmentalize our life; i.e. church on Sunday, work on Monday, aikido on Tuesday. Of course, we need to have a schedual, but integrating lessons learned on Sunday at work on Monday (when the boss asks us to fudge the accounting stats or we make lewd comments about the new secretary) seem to readily fall by the wayside as we try to blend in with the "corporate culture."
If a person becomes too "divided" by their life, it seems that psychological consequenses start to set in -- escapism, for example (alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.).
A person needs to "get it together," take a hard look in the mirror, or in new-age terms, become whole. That is, learn to apply those phiosophical or spiritual lessons to daily life. This is how knowledge is converted to power.
In the final analysis, I guess, it's about having backbone.
If it was easy, everybody could do it.