“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. And even from the given, you can often choose, for they are many...
To be a person, not a toy of fate, you observe and respect that which is given, you do not run into trouble like a fool but - if you keep your head - you are the one who makes the choices, right or poor; for this reason, sooner or later, what you live is your own doing.
Paraphrasing what Joseph de Maistre, wrote so harshly 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 to 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.
Strangely, educating modern people that ideas are not world-changing, but mere reflections of given reality and that freedom of will are delusions, teaching us that on the contrary the world is a System ruled by laws independent of us - be they divinity's preordained course or Science's objective physical, social, biological universe where even our brain is ruled by genes, chemistry, electro-physiology - all this ravishes us of the "unreasonable" confidence needed to make our dreams real and our actions bold enough to count.
Those who expect and relinquish whatever 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 logic and progress of objective natural processes - those people tend to live like objects, doomed to be some kind of puppets, helpless and submissive.
Those "fools" who on the contrary hold the they are the main cause of what happens to them - by what they, decide, do, create, build and avoid or defeat - by means of their actions[ 3] - are able of substantial control. In their mind, and possibly in deed, they are free. They may fail, many do, 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" 
What a paradox! It is when we lost everything, that is all our reassuring ties, that we have dangerously more freedom; as Janis Joplin cries out “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose...”
No need to perish for pride, though. What you cannot master and you do not want, you can often avoid and work your way around.
You can wait and persist still, tepid, like the Taoist water, passive, looking dumb, yet always ready to flow its way. Your choice will come to pass, be certain, "provided you have patience to sit by the riverside". 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.
* Joseph de Maistre: "Every country has the government it deserves (Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite") cf J. B. Alden, 1880 The Library Magazine vol 2, General Books (29 march 2010) Comment in a letter he wrote in August 1811, later published in Lettres et Opuscules Inedits (1851) My thanks to Quote/Countrequote - Origins, uses and abuses of famous quotations and phrases
 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.