No, not a conversation in my head, but a conversation between professionals.

Yes, I had to awaken and log in at 5 am my time.

And so worthwhile!

Yes, it was a professional conversation around “why” being a linear, defining vehicle, depressing creativity, and not very artistic.

No, I don’t completely agree with the artist who made those comments, at least as far as the more traditional clients I have taught whose inability to synthesize their “why” held them back. Using the ikigai chart I wrote about over 4 years ago often helps free them from themselves, outlines their value prop, signals their differentiators in a noisy, soundbite world. Their amazing-er-ness.

But he did make me think harder, more openly, about my now 12+ years advocating “why.”

Why not think harder? Maybe I will find something out I had missed.

Yes, I do accept his conceptual approach, for himself and his creative colleagues. Artists and other originative thinkers do not want to be hemmed in. They create their art by thinking outside the proverbial box, in ways more linear professionals are not rewarded.

Yes, it’s OK for their artsy peers and appreciators. Not all are appreciated until posthumously, fleeting fame, until living thinkers interpret their why, but too late, yet appreciated as pioneers. In their lives, artists need to express their unique freethinking. Many create art for the sake of expanding their minds and expression.

The rest of us await their message(s). Some are never fully received.

No, a “why” may not need to be defined in all industries, media, or pursuits.

Yes, it’s the art sales and investment world that probably requires the artists’ messages to be conveyed linearly on paper. Artists are marshalled into defining their why for marketing’s sake. But they cling to their “why not.”

No, I am not advocating this as a black or white dichotomy, but I’d rather employ the infinite shades of gray, expressing “why” as it pertains to you, personally, on LinkedIn, or elsewhere, in truly a personalized and personal expression. Appreciating better with understanding.

Yes, reader, you waded through a lot of yesses and nos.

The morning session opened my eyes and mind to another form of “why,” i.e., “why not” as a form of “why,” yet I am not sure where I am, still on the fence seeking a more direct sign.

Even if you don’t agree with me, think of how others perceive you and will appreciate you better when you help them understand your “why.”

Or “why not.”

On LinkedIn, for one.