“What is bad luck? Opinion. What are conflict, dispute, blame, accusation, irreverence and frivolity? Opinions. They lie outside our own reasoned choice, presented as if they were good or evil. Let a person shift their opinions only to what belongs in the field of their own choice, and I guarantee that person will have peace of mind, whatever is happening around them.” Epictetus, Discourses.
Growing up, I recall my parents and other adults in my life responding to moments of bad luck or misfortune with remarks such as “it is what it is” and “we are where we are”. To my immature child mind, these offerings did nothing to ease the emotional distress I was experiencing at the time. What they were reconciling themselves to is the truth that many things are not in our control. If everything were in our control, there would be no such thing as ‘luck’, only varying degrees of competence.
The attitude you choose to take towards how things ‘are’ is up to you. Your opinion adds colour to the way things are. Your choice.