Friday, April 08, 2005

Curious about "Chutzpah"

I have been receiving a plethora of results from interesting people taking my Portfolio Career Self Test - or Am I Someone Who Would Love to Have One? It consists of twenty statements to be rated on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being “not at all true” to 5 at “very true.”

One of the statements that often results in a low number score from 1 to 3 is, “I have chutzpah.” I included this statement, because I feel that to succeed with a far-from-the-norm type of career (a “Portfolio Career” is having several different careers at the same time) takes “chutzpah.” I also feel that to be able to assertively sell and market ourselves, we need “chutzpah.”

I have discovered that several of the test takers weren’t sure of the meaning of the word “chutzpah.” That started me wondering more about it myself. So, here goes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, (you will find it here), “Chutzpah is the quality of audacity, for good or for bad …Though originally referring to a negative quality, the word chutzpah has developed some interesting positive connotations in English usage. Where as in Hebrew chutzpah is used indignantly, to describe someone who has out stepped the boundaries of accepted polite behavior for selfish reasons, in English chutzpah can be spoken in admiration of non-conformist but gutsy audacity.”

A list of synonyms includes: audacity, effrontery, cheekiness, nerve, daring, gutsiness, hubris, gall, arrogance, presumption, pushiness, attitude, ballsiness, gumption, brazenness, and impudence.

And yet, someone else said that none of the above words really describe "chutzpah" fully. Its classic definition, by the way, is “A boy is on trial for murdering his parents, and he begs of the judge leniency because he is an orphan.” Yes, it is a stronger word than I imagined, but I don’t think I’ll revise my test.

In my search for information on “chutzpah” I found an excellent blog with the article, “Women Writers: The Chutzpah Factor” by Cassandra. You can find it by clicking here.

If you are interested in taking the “Portfolio Career Self Test - or Am I Someone Who Would Love to Have One? click here. And have fun! Also, decide if a bit of “chutzpah” would help you. I know it does me.