The name Blaise Pascal comes up a lot in coaching.  As well as being a mathematician and physicist who was also a philosopher who came up with a fair few useful quotes.


The one that probably comes up most frequently in coaching is:

“People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come in to the mind of others.”

This is the whole premise of coaching, that the client comes up with the answers themselves rather than the coach giving advice.


Pascal was born in France in 1623, one of four children.  Blaise was a child prodigy, educated at home.  His father didn’t teach him mathematics in the early days because he thought he’d get too engulfed in it all.  Of course, he hadn’t accounted for the curiosity of youth.  By the age of 12, Blaise had started to play around with geometry.  (Didn’t we all?)

In 1642, Blaise Pascal invented a calculator which was known as the Pasclaine, a calculator with movable dials, it wasn’t universally successful but it was a start.


After his father dies in 1651, he started writing about religion, philosophy as well as mathematics.  He died when he was only 39 years old, but managed to pack a lot in that short life.  Here are some more of his quotations:

“Evil is easy and has infinite forms.”

“Love has reasons which reason cannot understand.”

“Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same persons. Neither the offender nor the offended are any more themselves.”

“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.”

“Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything.”

“Man’s greatness lies in his power of thought.”

All quotations are taken from


© Susan Shirley 2016


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