They did a study of studies (of 61 success studies) and their conclusion was that 3 things come up again and again. The subjects of the studies were students, but the findings can be extended outside of academia:
First, students succeed more if they have a sense that they fit or belong in their college. They tend to be "socially integrated."
Second, they succeed more if they embrace the idea that they will improve as they go along -- something the researchers refer to as a "growth mindset."
Third, if students can see a future desired end, and link that with what they are doing, students succeed more often.