I've been thinking about the difference between a life lived by seeking pleasure and one lived by avoiding pain. Avoiding pain is reactive; it removes something from your life. Maybe something bad, but still, you end up with less. Do nothing but avoid pain day after day and you will end up with nothing. It's a death by sublimation.
There's a corollary in careers: avoiding unpleasant tasks might make any given workday tolerable, but it doesn't build a career, it creates a bureaucrat. To build a career, you have to find something in your job that you *want* to do really well, and make it happen. This is not necessarily ambition; it is seeking accomplishment.
Seeking pleasure in your life means first identifying what you have passion for, and then suffering the inconveniences and struggles in the process of achieving it. It is proactive. It adds. I'm not sure if there's a word for the kind of person it creates, the opposite of a bureaucrat, but maybe if there is, our society should be using that word more often.
There is no plan. Yet.
Though I haven't read the book, I'm told these ideas are discussed in Tim Ferriss' book The Four Hour Workweek (not our Tim Ferris).