Cracking the question of what factors will best lead you to success can help you focus on the right areas of your personal development and make you more successful in your career, business, and life in general. After all,  you don't have a lot of time. You want to focus your efforts where you can have the most impact.

We've been conditioned to believe that smart people who work hard are bound to succeed. In fact, if you're super smart, you should be able to write your own ticket, so to speak.

But is intelligence really the most critical success factor?

Not necessarily.

In fact, research suggests that intellect may not define success nearly as much as we've thought. Being smart can take you far, but emotional intelligence may be even more important than an exceptional intellect.

Dr. Arthur Poropat, senior lecturer at Griffith University, conducted reviews on the "Big 5" personality factors: conscientiousness, openness, emotional stability, extraversion, and agreeableness. People with high levels of these traits were more likely to achieve high grades than people with high IQs.

Other research from the Carnegie Institute of Technology found that emotional intelligence is a far more important success factor than standard intelligence when it comes to your financial success. In fact, 85 percent of financial success comes from people skills and just 15 percent comes from technical knowledge.

If you weren't gifted with an exceptionally high IQ, you can still dominate in your field, as these positive personality traits can be learned, built, and strengthened over time.

In the infographic below, Headway Capital takes a look into the eight critical success factors that are even more important than being a smartie. Have a look at how self-regulation, a growth mindset, resilience, passion, empathy, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and social skills can all help you define success in your own life and drive your career (or business) to greater heights.

Image credit: Headway Capital