Because, to put it bluntly, “stuff happens,” and our current value system, for one reason or another, is judged to be inadequate for the task. ConsumerShift observes that our friends with Spiral Dynamics talk about a change in “life conditions” or circumstances that challenges our current values. If we are going about our lives successfully and happily, we have little incentive to change – why mess with success? So, it is typically a change in external circumstances that leads to an internal re-evaluation. For instance, you might see a television ad depicting starving children abroad that touches you and leads you to re-examine your value priorities. These kinds of trigger events do not have to be negative. They could be neutral or positive or neutral, such as an opportunity to work in a new job or career or accept a transfer to a new location.
These changes in life conditions can come at us from several directions. We might find ourselves “forced” to behave against our values, thus leading to a re-examination. We might come across new information that challenges our current thinking. Or we might simply recognize or realize inconsistencies or conflicts between our values. Whatever the impetus, a sense of dissatisfaction emerges and the process of change begins.
An important point to keep in mind is that it is very difficult for outside groups to change an individual’s values. They may be able to create or highlight a trigger event that leads to the rethinking, but the actual change process is an inside job — an educational process that takes time. Andy Hines