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October 19, 2017

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Life is Beautiful festival founder Rehan Choudhry: ‘Life is full of hope and opportunity’


Scott Harrison/Retna/

Life Is Beautiful festival founder Rehan Choudhry.

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Life Is Beautiful festival founder Rehan Choudhry.

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Life Is Beautiful.

Editor’s Note: While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with Life is Beautiful festival founder Rehan Choudhry.

In every one of our lives, there are times of great highs and lows. Every so often, I, like many people, have fleeting moments of regret for certain choices I’ve made or events that have occurred even if they were beyond my control.

If you are like me, you may turn on self-judgment, analyze your past and struggle to move forward. It happens to the best of us. Memories such as these could have been as recent as a few days ago (like the time when a relationship ended dramatically at a bar on Fremont East) or as long ago as childhood (when a child chose to have a friend’s parent drive him to his first day of kindergarten instead of his father).

These may seem like meaningless memories of regret, but I, like most people, have hundreds of them. And I, like most people, carry each one of them with me. They weigh on me. They affect me. In some cases, this regret has taken me to the point of stagnation.

It has happened to all of us, and we may not be able to prevent it from happening again. But what we can do is learn to move on. How do we do that?

Well, let’s start with this: You are not alone. I am here with you and promise you this: We all carry regret with us. We all carry the weight of our failures on our shoulders. The question you need to ask is at what point will you make the decision to turn your regret into a force of self-empowerment?

It’s not easy to do. If it was, I wouldn’t be writing this article. But that is one of my ways of turning negative thoughts into positive forces. I talk, share and discuss. Outside opinions always lead me to a better perspective.

That might not work for you, but I urge you to find what does. Write, dance, sing, paint, talk or just go and hug someone. Try anything and everything. The goal? To believe the world, your world, is not ending.

My aforementioned breakup occurred last week. I have spent the past few days reflecting deeply on it and, as usual, I am plagued with regret. Did I waste her time? Could I have tried harder?

Or how about the day that I was so blinded by excitement about my first day of school that I jumped into my best friend’s dad’s car for a ride without a second thought? Little did I know that I robbed my father of the memory of dropping his son off at his first day of school. Does he even remember that day? If he does, does he feel the same sense of sadness?

The answer is no, I did not waste her time. We tried, learned and moved on. But, yes, I could have tried harder. My father does not remember that day. Honestly, the only sadness he might feel is when he reads that, 30 years later, I still feel bad about it. But he wants to share the memory with me now.

A good friend once told me, “Don’t waste time or energy on maintenance or regret. Learn from your mistakes and move on. More importantly, if you’re going to spend time on it, make it memorable. Make it awesome. Because more than anything, you deserve it.”

Las Vegas, let’s take this opportunity to grow together. Let’s take a step forward together. Let’s hike to the highest peak of Red Rock, look up to the sky and scream, in one unified voice, “Life is beautiful. Life is full of hope and opportunity. Life wants me to succeed and find happiness because, more than anything, I deserve it.”

The Life is Beautiful festival is Oct. 26-27 in downtown Las Vegas. Our guest columns continue Sunday with Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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