“What happens to me is because of me!”
I need to recall it more often.
This is how free people think, without however bragging carelessly, nor taking on themselves all the guilt of the World.
For they are not madmen, deluded that anything goes, only awakened minds who understand that some things are given but some you make.
To be a person, not a toy of fate, you observe and respect that which is given, but you are the one who made the choices, right or poor; for this reason, sooner or later, what you live is your own doing.
Paraphrasing what someone, maybe Joseph de Maistre, said about nations, that they end up having the government they deserve; it is true about individuals too, that those who are unable to fight for their freedom, or to withdraw in the inner exile of their reflective life, or to flee, or perish, deserve their situation.
Psychology has a name for this factor in its jargon - it is called locus of control , the place from which you feel that you are controlled; from inside you or from somewhere else, outside.
Those who expect everything that happens to them to be determined from an external place out of their reach - commanded by the forces of economy, God, history, chance, rulers and hidden power-groups or even by the inexorable progress of objective natural processes - those people tend to live like objects, doomed to be some kind of puppets, helpless and submissive.
Those who on the contrary hold the they are the main cause of what happens to them - by what they, decide, do and avoid - are able of substantial control. In mind, and possibly in deed, they are free. They may fail, but even then, they lived free. As a classic Romanian poem claims:
"We owe a death, we all, death reigns
but it is not at all the same
to die a roaring lion
or a dog in chains" 
In the infinite ocean of lawful causalities there is always some room to be an agent, author of events, to start something , while you navigate your little boat. The mathematicians see the Universe as entirely determined and predictable by perfect formulas; however, the formulas are so many and the imperfections in the interstices of many precisions so obvious, that there is still hope for us to obtain what we want. The complication and the myriad forces at work is such immensity, the potential scenarios so many, that the choices you make are - in human practice - acts of free will.
What you cannot master and you do not want, you can often avoid and work your way around. You can wait and persist like the Taoist water, always ready to flow its way. Your choice will come to pass. But keep away from the places where “everything not forbidden is compulsory” ; or run away from there as soon as you can. Do the same when you see that the wheels of history start to turn  around you.
 Locus of control: Rotter, J. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcements. Psychological Monographs, 80, Whole No. 609
 George Coşbuc, Decebal catre popor: C-o moarte tot suntem datori!/…/Dar nu-i totuna leu să mori/Ori câine-nlănţuit.
 Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998
 T.H.White, The Once and Future King
 Martin Luther: "Blood alone moves the wheels of history" (but I never found the historic source where Luther wrote this.