Loved this article by Adam Gopnik that reminded me of The Flow and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
What typically emerges from looking at kids, gifted and ordinary, is that, from the kids’ point of view, accomplishment, that is, the private sense of mastery, the hard thing suddenly made easy, counts for far more in their inner lives than does the achievement—the competition won, the reward secured. The mystery of mastery, felt in the child’s mind or muscles, is more compelling than the concreteness of achievement, the trophy pressed in her hands. What sustains us in any competition are the moments of interiority when the competition vanishes; what sustains us in any struggle are the moments when we forget the struggle.
Accomplishment, the feeling of absorption in the flow, of mastery for its own sake, of knowing how to do this thing, is what keeps all of us doing what we do, if we like what we do at all.