Building Blocks of Happiness: The SCAAR Method

Pat Escatel, IV Leader Staff Writer

Throughout my short time in this world, I have come across many people younger, older, and everything in between who are generally unhappy with their lives.
It truly makes me feel sorrow to witness others emotionally suffer; however, it’s even worse when I see how close they are to achieving their happiness, yet they settle for less because they believe they’ll never have it.
Speaking from experience, one thing people generally do when they are overwhelmed with negative feelings is allow the pessimistic state of mind to associate problems with every aspect of life, rather than only the one that triggered the dark thoughts to begin with.
This can lead to the belief that one’s overall life provides no reason to be happy, despite having many logical reasons to be satisfied with every other aspect.
Like several others, I have a history of allowing this darkness to consume me, and I’ve found that it’s helpful to view our pursuit of happiness in another light: rather
than seeing it as something we’re chasing, we should see it as something we’re building, one block at a time.
Depending on our current age and position in life, the specific “materials” we have to build the joyful feeling in our minds may differ.
For me personally, I strive to include and focus on these various aspects in my own life: working a job to earn an income, going to college for an education, eating
a good diet to be healthy, getting enough sleep in order to recharge, exercising to keep myself physically fit, writing
to stay mentally strong, maintaining my home and vehicle for convenience and comfort, and simply spending
time with family, friends, and my partner for the sake of feeling love and joy.
In my opinion, it’s essential for everyone to have some form of each of those categories in order to truly achieve a fulfilling life of total happiness. People who are
generally unsatisfied with their life are likely missing or neglecting one or more of those aspects I listed above.
Like I stated before, I feel that looking at our lives as building blocks is an effective perspective to have regarding achieving the fantasized happiness we desire. I personally use a specific strategy when it comes to the construction of my life’s “tower of happiness.” I call it the SCAAR method.
The first step, or the “S” part of the acronym and plan, is “Search.” This is the time that we would begin our
search for an aspect of our life which is lacking in quality or something we’re missing altogether.
Sometimes people are unhappy simply because they don’t possess all of the “blocks” necessary to feel fulfilled.
We may get so caught up in the working and/or educational aspects of our lives, that we neglect the
other necessities. In many cases, the missing or neglected blocks are likely to be exercise, diet, hobbies, and sleep.
In fact, most people place those four aspects last on their priority list, and many never focus on including
them more than the bare minimum, unless they are given no choice due to poor health.
While the other aspects we generally place before them are important, it’s also vital to remember that without
our health, we have nothing. That’s the reason it’s essential to have a balance of all aspects if possible.
The second step of the strategy is “Choose.” This may
be the second part of the method; however, it’s usually considered the first real difficult step.
It’s fairly easy to perform the “Search” step, because it simply requires a person to look at all of the opportunities
for possible blocks to be placed in their life without really committing to anything.
However, actually choosing a block that satisfies one’s desires can be an extremely tough and frightening decision to make, especially depending on the aspect they’re
choosing it for and also the significance of the changes that will come with that choice.
Sometimes people know they need something new in their life because they feel like there’s a missing gap;
however, they become overwhelmed with all the options they have to choose from and end up with a seemingly
endless search due to the fear of committing to the “wrong” block.
The logical truth is every decision we make in life has consequences, even choosing to do nothing. In order for the “tower of happiness” to be fully built in one’s life, it needs every aspect of the “building blocks of happiness” to be satisfied; otherwise, it will not stand tall, or in other words, the person will never be fully happy.
So it’s obvious that it’s not only important to search for the missing blocks, but it’s even more essential to actually choose them. Choosing multiple “wrong” blocks is better than choosing none at all, because with each mistake, we learn, grow, and get one step closer to the “right” one.
The third step of the SCAAR method is “Accept.” This is a simple yet still difficult part of the strategy. Many people tend to skip over this step and go straight to the fourth; however, it’s very important to give this part a legitimate try first.
It requires the person to simply accept the block for what it is, without attempting to modify it in any way, and allowing it to naturally fit into the structure with the rest of the aspects. For a very select few, this may be the last step they have to take to achieve happiness within a certain part or block in their life; however, it’s rarely ever that easy.
Chances are, there will be complications that threaten our construction of joy, which will eventually lead to the need for the next step. I consider this fourth step of the strategy a step that should only be taken if the third part has already received a fair chance: “Adjust.” This is the step that too many people skip right to with various aspects of their life, especially relationships.

If the “Accept” part of the plan doesn’t seem to be allowing the block to fit neatly into our life’s structure of happiness, then it may mean that some adjustments to the aspect we are dealing with will need to be made.
However, only the adjustments that are necessary should be the ones that are made.
Making adjustments simply for personal preference or to express control over the block will only lead to more problems down the road. The building blocks can be altered in some ways, but it’s unrealistic to expect them to completely change.
If a complete alteration of the overall block is needed, it is likely that the final step of the SCAAR method will be required.
The fifth and last step of this strategy is “Replace.” This should only be used as the absolute last resort when it comes to any aspect of our lives.
If all other steps of this five-part process have yet to fulfill us and make us happy in a certain category of our life, then it may be time to let go of the block we’ve been attempting to fit into our structure.
If this is the case, then it will lead to the beginning of the whole SCAAR method over again with a new block and new opportunity. It’s important to be certain of this decision beforehand though, because more often than not, there is no turning back from this final step.
Life can be very difficult at times, and it may feel like the “chase” for happiness in this world is an impossible one to succeed with. If that’s the case, then the perspective I’ve presented in this article may help restore hope.
Viewing my life as a structure that I’m building with the end goal of constructing a “tower of total happiness,” has helped me dramatically.
I feel as if I have more control over the quality of my life because I realize I’m not just “chasing” one thing anymore. I realize that happiness is not all or nothing and that multiple aspects of life actually result in our overall well-being and positive outlook, not just one.
Something I’ve learned from following the method stated above is that the more I do it, the easier my life is. I see now that if I stay committed to the SCAAR strategy, I will end up having less “scars” at the end of my journey. I believe that if someone truly allows this “building block” perspective to change their outlook and if they follow the SCAAR method in their life, that they will be amazed at how dramatically things change for them. Everyone has their own beliefs and desires, their own version of how life should be lived; however, we all want one common, yet vital, quality: happiness.
Life is short, so don’t settle for anything less than you need to be truly happy. If you want your life to change, then you have to be willing to make it change.
Stop chasing your happiness; instead, start building it, one block at a time. You need to believe that one day everything will eventually come together, and you will finally be truly and completely happy with your life.