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Luck is more than just being in the right place at the right time. It’s an essential part of successful innovation. The good news is that luck can be cultivated.

Luck, as in being in the right place at the right time, seems to be as important as smart, creative thinking when bringing new ideas to fruition. Successful innovators are sometimes described as getting more than their share of “lucky breaks” or as “born lucky.” Is it just by chance that some people seem to have all the luck, or is there a method to their good fortune?

A study by psychologist Richard Wiseman suggests that luck can be learned. Here are three strategies that he suggests will give you the Midas touch:

Seek out variety: Lucky people are more likely to take different routes to work, talk to strangers at parties and dine at a variety of unfamiliar restaurants. Extending yourself to new situations, people and places increases the sheer number of opportunities available to you.

Follow your intuition when making decisions: Listen to how you think and feel about various options rather than just following your rational mind. Gut feelings can help you recognize great opportunities and avoid unlucky mistakes.

See the positive side in challenging situations: Lucky people tend to focus attention on the sunny side, so that they stay open to ideas that might reverse unlucky situations.

It’s not by chance that these three fortune-raising tips are also effective innovation strategies. It seems that what we call luck is really a mindset of being open to and prepared for big opportunities.

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