Much of society would have you believe that "the end justifies the means" and that putting on an appearance is sufficient. As you grow, however, it becomes increasingly apparent that your motivation behind any undertaking is the most important thing; more important, even, than accomplishing your initial goal. It determines if you achieve peace and happiness as a result of any action you undertake. If you act out of negative motivations, when you achieve your goal it will leave only an emptiness.
You can call yourself a spiritual person, but if your motivation is your own enlightenment and not the enlightenment of all, then you will not achieve your goal. If your motivation is to achieve power and money at the expense of others, you are operating from a belief that there is not enough in the world and you must take from others. You have created your own prison and you will never have enough to be satisfied though to others you may be a rich person. In either of the above cases your actions could have been very similar, but if carried out from a desire to be of service with your talent, the end result would also bring great fulfillment.
Before you take any action, ask yourself why. What is your motivation? If there is a mixed motive or a negative motive, don't do it. Keep your motive pure and allow it to drive your action.