What you expounded about is altruism, a quality in people that is rarely found. In this material world, many advance their interests first before the interest of others. This altruistic trait is biblically-based (if i may) because the good that you do for others goes back to you as a reward from God. Remember, God blesses those who become His channels of blessing.
I agree that you can only change your circumstances if you change your attitude, from a negative stance to a positive position. And this attracts people to your side.
Overcoming the struggles of life, as you portrayed Anton Chekov, must be the parameters by which man should measure themselves. You cannot achieve success without overcoming the obstacles that are in the way.
Then the choice becomes ours to make: To run away or to take the bull by its horns.