In reading biographies of those who are successful, massively successful, famously successful, or world-changing, it seems that there is always one or two absolutely critical but highly unlikely events that led to that success. A chance meeting of the right person, getting or missing a train/flight/boat, getting or missing a life-changing injury, etc. Having started this train of thought, I’m absolutely stuck for an example but we all know figures whose entire meaningful career and life stem from such an improbable event. A good setting for the reverse is to look at the many brilliant and promising people - young scientists, mathematicians, artists, writers - who did not survive World War II. Maybe if that bullet or bomb had missed them, they would have become world-changers. Fictional examples abound; in Finney’s Time And Again, the hero changes his normal future by blocking a trivial encounter in 1880s New York.
So… are you you, or are you an alternate universe you that stopped to tie your shoe and thus missed running into your great mentor, or didn’t walk into the wrong meeting at the right time, or whatever your life-changing break was supposed to be?