The point of the practice of accumulating merit is that you have to sacrifice something rather than purely yearning for pleasure. You have to start at the right end of the stick from the very beginning. In order to do that, you have to refrain from evil actions, those that build up your ego, and cultivate virtuous actions. In order to do that, you have to block out hope and fear altogether so you do not hope to gain anything from your practice, and you are not particularly fearful of bad results. Whatever happens, let it happen–you are not particularly looking for either pleasure or pain.
From “Accumulating Merit,” in Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness, pages 57 to 58.