I read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers a few years ago (I had my user name before that though).
In the second part, he explains why so many Asians were good at math. It was presumably because most of their ancestors worked really hard in the rice fields, and they knew the value of patience, dedication and hard work. Gladwell thought that these characteristics were so ingrained in their culture that it made them well-equipped to deal with problem-solving, and hence math.
Gladwell also described a video in which a student was talking through a problem about finding the gradient of a line. At first, she was stuck. But after talking out the steps for a few minutes, she was able to figure out and truly understand the steps and the solution.
So the people good at math are generally open-minded and try to understand the problem, and they don't give up.