My Basic Philosophy

Hello, I’m Russ Shurts.  This is the first of what I hope to be many posts to this website, Shurts Accounting, as well as its sister website, Shurts Tennis.  Though the purpose of these websites is avowedly commercial- the selling of two services I have a great deal of expertise in providing- I hope these blog posts will provide something more than just good marketing.

I hope everyone who reads this blog will aspire to something better in their lives, and not just in accounting and tennis.  But before I begin, I think it is important, in the words of talk show host Mike Rosen, to ‘tell you where I sit before I tell you where I stand’.

In addition to accounting and tennis, for the past 16 years there has been one more passion in my life: philosophy.  In particular it has been one philosophy, Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism.  Before encountering Miss Rand’s writings, I had no idea of the importance of philosophy in everyone’s life.  Now, 16 years later, I know that philosophy, more than anything else, is what makes the world go round.  It is supremely important because everything human beings do comes from how they use (or don’t use) their minds, and it is philosophy that provides the underlying set of first principles (the blueprint if you will) for how each person uses his or her mind.

For further clarification of Objectivism, the philosophy that I follow, I offer what Ayn Rand said when she was asked to present the essence of her philosophy while standing on one foot.

“She said the following [about the four branches of philosophy]:

  1. Metaphysics [the study of reality] –  Objective Reality
  2. Epistemology [the study of knowledge] –  Reason
  3. Ethics –  Self-interest
  4. Politics –  Capitalism

If you want this translated into simple language, it would read: 1. ‘Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed’ or ‘Wishing won’t make it so.’ 2. ‘You can’t eat your cake and have it, too.’ 3. ‘Man is an end in himself.’ 4. ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’”

None of this is to imply I am an authority on either philosophy or Objectivism.  I am an avid layman who has seriously studied this philosophy for the last quarter of my life and applied it, to great benefit, to living my life.  I owe a great debt of gratitude obviously to Ayn Rand for discovering the philosophy, but also to philosophers such as Yaron Brook, Harry Binswanger, Leonard Peikoff and all of the intellectuals associated with the Ayn Rand Institute who have taught it to me.

And with that now said it is my intention with this blog to continually demonstrate and emphasize how to better your life, not merely your accounting or your tennis.  I want to show you how simple it is to apply the best thinking you can to each and every problem, in order to give yourself the best solutions to those problems.  If you are doing this, then it won’t be too long before you are enjoying the best and happiest life you can imagine.


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