Yes, I think there is much truth to this, but as Stef says the process can quite easily be reversed. The more progress you make in this life, the greater the chances are you will continue in the same vein in your next life.
I think the escape from samsāra happens very much for this reason. When you are on the right track, you tend to continue in the same way for both internal and external reasons. You may have heard Ajahn Brahm’s (who in turn quotes Ajahn Chah) simile of the mango tree: once you are on the right track, all you have to do is sit under the mango tree and wait for the fruit to fall. It’s a chain reaction, as you say, that happens by itself. But to maximise the likelihood of the chain reaction going to completion, we need to do all we can right here, right now.