The secret of success is enthusiasm

December 31, 2008, 11:27 PM UTC

Goodbye, 2008! It was a year of loss in so many ways. (My mother, who was my best friend, died this year.) In the spirit of ringing in 2009 on a positive note, I’ll share some wisdom that my friend Sue Callaway has posted on her desk in Laguna Beach, California. Sue, as you may know, is Fortune‘s car columnist extraordinaire. And when she was a senior editor a decade ago, we started the Fortune Most Powerful Women in Business list together.

Sue is also my coolest globetrotting friend. During her recent visit to Ferrari headquarters in Maranello, Italy, Ferrari Spa chairman and CEO Luca Cordero di Montezemolo gave her a card that lays out his philosophy of doing business and living life to the fullest:

“The real secret of success is enthusiasm.

You can do anything if you have enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hope rise to the stars.

Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eye,

It is the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand,

the irresistible surge of your will

and your energy to execute your ideas.

Enthusiasts are fighters.

They have fortitude, they have staying qualities.

Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress.

With it there is accomplishment.

Without it there are only alibis.”

Happy New Year!

P.S. Read Sue’s take on the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti and other “Cool Cars for Tough Times” in Fortune.

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