Nick Sitzman was a strong, healthy, and ambitious young railroad yardman. He had a reputation as a diligent hard worker and had a loving wife and two children and many friends.
One midsummer day, the train crews were informed that they could quit an hour early in honor of the foreman’s birthday. While performing one last check on some of the railroad cars, Nick was accidentally locked in a refrigerator boxcar. When he realized that the rest of the workmen had left the site, Nick began to panic.
He banged and shouted until his fists were bloody and his voice was hoarse, but no one heard him. With his knowledge of “the numbers and the facts,” he predicted the temperature to be zero degrees. Nick’s thought was If I can’t get out, I’ll freeze to death in here. Wanting to let his wife and family know exactly what had happened to him, Nick found a knife and began to etch words on the wooden floor. He wrote, “It’s so cold, my body is getting numb. If I could just go to sleep. These may be my last words.”
The next morning, the crew slid open the heavy doors of the boxcar and found Nick dead. An autopsy revealed that every physical sign of his body indicated he had frozen to death. And yet the refrigeration unit of the car was inoperative, and the temperature inside indicated 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Nick had killed himself by the power of his own thoughts.
You, too, if you’re not careful, can kill yourself with your limiting thoughts—not all at once like Nick Sitzman, but little by little, day after day, until you have slowly deadened your natural ability to achieve your dreams.