Will is a most interesting topic to research. Everyone of us has to some degree experience with the act of will and can do experiments in this field.
In this blog posting I'll summarize Assagioli a bit. Extract from an old blog of mine:
The process of active will is very complex. It has been described by
Assagioli in his book "Act of will". I cannot deal with it here at length.
I will mention the steps involved in the will-process, however.
Reversely translated from my Dutch copy of this book, we have:
1. Goal or purpose, based on valuation, motivation and intent.
3. Choice and decision.
4. Reinforcement: command or fiat of the will.
5. Planning and elaboration of a program.
6. Steering of execution.
This is the process of will in it's complete and ideal form.
Remarks, based on Assagioli's treatment of the subject:
1. There is a goal to be reached. One has to clearly define a goal or purpose
to be realized. The faculty of Imagination (ideation, vision) is involved in this.
This is not enough to get things going. A general vision is just a starting point.
An evaluation or valuation of the goal is necessary ending in a judgment.
Then a motive must be generated that provides a drive and intent for one
to realize this purpose/goal.
A motive is a dynamic thing. It is generated by the values we ascribe to
the goals we want to reach.
2. As there are many goals, we must choose between them. This
establishing of a preference is the result of the function of deliberation
where we have to investigate several goals, our skills to realize these goals,
the consequences of our choice, social desirability, acceptability, etc.
Discrimination is necessary!
3. Deliberation should lead to choice and decision.
One has to wrap up, integrate, all the points mentioned at phase two,
and come to a decision.
4. Then follows reinforcement of the choice and decision. This activates
the creative and dynamic energies necessary to accomplish one's
goal/purpose. Compare this with J.G. Bennett's "commitments", described
in his tome "The Dramatic Universe".
5. Planning and a program are needed. Methods of execution come into
play as are considerations of time, circumstances , conditions.
6. At last there is the steering of the execution.
Will is like a director of a play. It is the supervisor of the whole process.
It looks to me that the whole gamut of human functions is concerned in this
process: from will to imagination to motivation to discrimination to
planning down to the physical execution (sensori-motor function).
Quite impressive! The physical execution itself is not a function of will,
but the steering of that part is.