I love this passage in Csikszentmihalyi's classic Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
"In our studies, we found that every flow activity, whether it involved competition, chance, or any other dimension of experience, had this in common: It provided a sense of discovery, a creative feeling of transporting the person into a new reality. It pushed the person to higher levels of performance, and led to previously undreamed-of states of consciousness. In short, it transformed the self by making is more complex." pg 74
Sometimes these experiences are not at all pleasant while engaging in them - for example, while addressing an angry crowd, searching for victims in a disaster, climbing K2 during a blizzard, coaching a smart but clueless team member, lifting heavy weights, fighting a fire, etc. In fact, flow experiences are often not pleasurable at the time, but become among our most rewarding and valued experiences.
I love the part of the quote "sense of discovery...new reality." What might you engage in this week or month that has these qualities?
And for all the managers and leaders out there - might connecting with people become a flow experience? It certainly could if it were to become a goal of yours (like a real goal, deeply held, not just a goal that we put on a list because it sounds good/reasonable) and if you were driven to make each interaction better than the last.