She was driving down a long winding road and suddenly suffered a heart attack, losing control of her car and plunging 120 feet down a mountainside.
It was a tragic end to the amazing life of Grace Kelly, a famous actress who gave up the limelight for love.
Grace Kelly did what many of us today would not.
She changed her definition of success.
In Hollywood, she was praised for her acting, adored by millions. But in 1955, she met a real life Prince – Prince Rainier III of Monaco (a city state located on the French Riviera).
“I fell in love with him without giving a thought to anything else.”
– Grace Kelly
After the meeting, Kelly returned to the U.S, to star in the movie “The Swan” in which she played, ironically, a princess.
During this time, she continued to communicate with the Prince.
It wasn’t long before the Prince showed up in the U.S. to propose to Kelly. The two married on April 18, 1956 and the wedding was watched by over 30 million people around the world on television.
Something else happened that day.
Grace Kelly was no longer a movie star.
“I hated Hollywood. It’s a town without pity. I know of no other place in the world where so many people suffer from nervous breakdowns, where there are so many alcoholics, neurotics and so much unhappiness.”
– Grace Kelly
In the opinion of Grace Kelly, she had become something much better than a Hollywood icon. She became a person who could help the less fortunate of the world. Kelly enthusiastically reinvented herself, turning into a philanthropist and creating an organization dedicated to the spiritual well-being of children.
One of her most cherished activities was a yearly Christmas party for orphans.
Grace Kelly rejected the idea that she had to cling to the ego-satisfying world of celebrity.
While we all cannot become a princess or prince – we can change what success means to us.
Today it seems, when financial success means everything, love is pushed aside.
Families are destroyed, people are left feeling lonely, and bitterness replaces compassion.
All in the name of “success”.
If we have enough money to sustain ourselves, living free of greed and workaholic habits, enjoying an abundance of family support and friendship – are we not phenomenally successful?
I believe that if you are healthy, then you are richer than any billionaire with a mountain of stress.
What is success?
Why must we allow society to dictate the terms of success – when we know, deep down, in our heart of hearts, that its definition is killing us?
The opinion of others doesn’t count when it comes to our own happiness and fulfillment.
Don’t feel guilty because you’re not rolling in millions.
Look at your life and all that is good.
I am grateful for my health, the few good friends that I have, and my family.
I am, in fact, a huge success.
And so are you.
The year is 1955 and the 26-year old Grace Kelly stars in “To Catch a Thief” with actor Cary Grant. But hang on to your seat!
Side note: The frightening roadway in this film clip is very close to the road where Grace Kelly had the car accident in 1982, taking her life at the young age of 53.