Your Greatest Success Story

Posted on October 10, 2023

I have a question for you:

What would you point to as your single most amazing achievement,
the time when you defied the greatest odds and
pulled off something truly spectacular?

When you stop to think about it, the answer is obvious. Your most amazing achievement was becoming a human being.

Have you ever considered your “beginning,” the origin of your existence? Just imagine the odds against you ever being born. One scientist ran the numbers and calculated that your odds of being alive are 1 in 10 to the 2,685,000 power. (That’s 102,685,000.)

You, my friend, are one hellava success story!

Here’s how that story unfolded. Before you existed in this world, in any way whatsoever, there were these two gametes messing around . . .

Gamete #1

Gamete #1 was a female egg, ovum, or reproductive cell that came from your mother. In her life she had a maximum of some 6-8 million egg follicles. This peak number occurred at about her 20th week as a fetus in her mother’s womb. No new eggs were ever formed from that point on—for the rest of her life, your mom’s egg count was in constant decline. She ovulated only 300-500 eggs during her reproductive years, with generally one being released each month. Luckily, one of those helped create you. Let’s call it the Wonder Egg, the “1 out of 6-8 million.” It carried the 23 chromosomes that became mom’s half of your genetic makeup.

Gamete #2

This gamete was a male sperm or reproductive cell that came from your father. He began producing sperm at puberty and continued to do so over many years, producing about 1,000 per second, day after day, 24/7. Gamete #2 was released simultaneously with 300 million to a billion competing sperm, but it won the race to your mother’s egg. We’ll call it SuperSperm, being “1 out of quadrillions” of sperm produced over your dad’s lifetime. It carried the 23 chromosomes contributed by his DNA and became the second half of your original makeup.

You, the Zygote

There was a very narrow window of time during your mother’s menstrual cycles when pregnancy could occur. This was the oh-so-brief and only chance for those two particular gametes to join into a single cell called a zygote. But they succeeded! That zygote with all 46 of the necessary chromosomes was the very first instance of you, your first spark of existence. The odds against you becoming that zygote were immeasurably huge, yet you happened.

That is your greatest success story!

But. . . that was a long time ago! When was the last time you seriously stretched yourself, stared down the odds, and tested the limits of what you can do? How long has it been since you left your comfort zone and took yourself to the edge?

You have so much unused potential. . . so many amazing possibilities you’re free to pursue. . . so many ambitions that you can achieve. It’s time for you to produce another great success story.

Go for a quantum leap!

“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”

—Jim Whittaker, first American to summit Everest


Price Pritchett is one of the foremost experts on fast-growth strategies and breakthrough performance. His firm—PRITCHETT, LP—is recognized worldwide for its thought leadership on mergers, corporate culture, change management, and accelerated achievement. These writings define the behaviors and individual mindset underlying fast growth and innovation.


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