Here’s how a humbling experience and frozen underwear can lead to something valuable for the ages: a unique record of cultural beauty that would have been lost were it not for a “happy accident.”

Image: Tribal girls covered with white ash, with flowers in their hair by Jimmy Nelson

Source: Jimmy Nelson

First, we’ll ask you to think back… Can you recall an occasion where things were going terribly wrong, and then that mistake suddenly opened up all kinds of new possibilities?

We like to call those rare occasions “happy accidents.”

Today we bring you the story and work of a fellow who has turned setbacks into opportunity more than a few times.

His project needs little explanation except to say he may be preserving precious pieces of the human experience – cultural beauty – that you and I (and especially our grandchildren) would never know about without him.

As we become ever more intertwined as a global community, we wanted to share something beautiful today to celebrate all the major traditions around the world who have created the complex web of humanity.

Treat yourself to 12 minutes of humor and beauty. Here’s Jimmy Nelson’s TED Talk. It might change your view the next time you need to see the “upside” of a humbling moment like frozen underwear. Enjoy! (By the way, we love TED! Check out our must-see TED Talks page for more…)

One last thing: There is so, SO much more to this story that you would love. Jimmy Nelson has a gorgeous website where you can browse through more breathtaking photos and read about his adventure, step by step. Head over to to go on a big adventure without leaving your cozy surroundings.

We’ll be back soon with another article for you on yet another extraordinary part of the human experience, in science, extreme sports, art, philosophy, music, business, technology, etc.

The world truly is an amazing place.

Have a lovely day and stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda


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  1. Nelson, Jimmy. “Before They Pass Away: Jimmy Nelson at TEDxAmsterdam.” YouTube. TEDx Talks, 6 Nov. 2013. Web. 2 Jan. 2015. <>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world. Hear her latest conversations with thought leaders on the Conspiracy of Goodness Podcast--new episodes every Wednesday!