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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > May 2016 > Are you successful—or just lucky?

Are you successful—or just lucky?

A new book sets out the dangers of the “winner takes all” society

Are the most successful people in society the best, or just the luckiest? How important is a decent start in life? How much talent is under-utilised because some individuals did not get the lucky break at the crucial time? In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses his concept of “eudaimonia,” probably best translated as “human flourishing,” as what constitutes the highest good for human beings. It is useful in framing a discussion of what constitutes professional success—each of us performing to as high a standard, at as high a level as our skills and efforts can muster. How much is our journey towards that ideal stymied by luck beyond our control?

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s May issue: Simon Taylor and Bronwen Maddox on why Hinkley Point C is an expensive gamble that might not pay off. Philip Collins examines Iain Duncan Smith’s tenure as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Lionel Shriver reveals why she stopped fighting being female. Alan Rusbridger responds to last month’s piece on the Guardian by Stephen Glover. Also in this issue: Nicholas Soames says there’s no such thing as "Project Fear” and Howard Davies reviews Melvyn King’s new book and suggests that we are vulnerable to another financial crisis. Plus Ruth Dudley Edwards examines the fading myths of the Easter Rising and Owen Hatherley suggests it’s time to look for a Plan B to solve London’s housing issues.
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