What Is a Good Work Ethic?

I’ve been complimented by several people recently about my work ethic, and while I appreciate those compliments, I’m still trying to figure out whether that work ethic is a blessing or a curse.

Really, what is a good work ethic?

I’ve heard a lot over the years that younger generations don’t understand the value of hard work, so if we don’t understand it, how would we know what constitutes hard work these days?

In my own life and business, I’m simply searching for the right balance — not being a workaholic, but also not being lazy or afraid to get my hands dirty, break a sweat, or pay my dues. Where is the happy medium between those two extremes?

I’ve heard many times that “overnight success” takes a long time and a lot of effort to achieve. There are times when I think, “Will I ever get there?” (wherever there is), and I usually follow that question with, “Am I just expecting too much too quickly? Have I really worked long enough and hard enough to deserve success?”

There are many times when I know that I work very hard for long hours, but then the internal debate becomes, “Am I a workaholic?”

I know I have the strength to bring seemingly huge projects to completion in short amounts of time with very concentrated effort, but what does that mean? Does it mean I have a “feast or famine” work ethic, or does it mean I’m hard-wired to work intensely for a certain length of time and then be completely off for a certain length of time to recoup? I don’t know the answer.

Maybe it’s a crazy debate, but I think it’s easy for web workers especially to become workaholics and not have a healthy mix of work, physical health and relaxation and fulfilling relationships.

What are your thoughts? What do you think constitutes a good work ethic?

Image from Flickr by Pixel Addict