Shopping for clothing – mixing outcome and process

We went to a Target outlet recently to purchase a piece of winter clothing. We’d looked it up online and it was supposed to be in stock at this particular outlet. After combing through the relevant aisles, we finally learnt from the customer service desk that the “in stock” status on their app isn’t the most reliable.

The natural response here might be to say this was a bad outcome. We drove a bit longer to get to this particular outlet and failed to get what we wanted.

But, that would completely negate the process. We did our research, found the one spot where we’d find what we were looking for, and then learnt that their stock status isn’t the most reliable. There’s not much we’d do differently.

It is one thing to know that it is important to separate outcomes and processes. But, it is quite another thing to actually do it when we encounter small outcome setbacks everyday. I’ve learnt to view incidents like this one as practice sessions. As we build our muscle memory to evaluate processes instead of evaluating outcomes, we invest in more learning focused, thoughtful, and happier versions of ourselves.

PS: We ended up finding another version of what we wanted online. It easy to take it for granted – but, online shopping is such a game changer.