I find this to be a fascinating topic. By a winning combination I don't mean achieving fame and fortune but rather the not so simple combination of ability and traits that enable a child to complete their education with a moderate amount of success, attain adulthood, move away from home, remain financially solvent and engage in positive relationships with others. A moderate amount of happiness should also factor in. I can't deny that brains and beauty have helped some but some of the factors are less obvious.
It seems, according to some research, something called grit (and I'm not referring to what you put at the bottom of your budgie cage) and resilience, including the ability to cope with challenges and persevere through frustration, count for more than almost anything else.
The following article suggests that grit--the trait that makes someone keep trying new approaches in dealing with a lack of success rather than just giving up--is what makes the difference between success and failure in education . . . and in life.