The generic answer is be optimistic. It's so easy to tell someone that "the grass is greener on the other side" or, "everything will work out." My personal relation to someone else's hardships cause me to question that generic solution to every problem. I feel like it's a copout sometimes. We have to say something comforting, right? Maybe, but I wonder if we are missing an opportunity.
Optimism is the positive mindset that everything will work out. It is a mindset regarding the potential for better things in the future. It allows people to look past their problems to the potential of better things ahead. It brings comfort knowing that things could be better than they are currently. Within optimism, however, lies a problem. Optimism seemingly lies in opposition with reality. As time passes and challenges persist, the view of our better future gives way to the reality that we can't actually be sure if it will end up that way. We end up having to keep revisiting our problems and repainting our desired outcomes in our mind. This kind of optimism is unfounded and weak.
Hope is often confused as the same thing as optimism when it really is very different. Vaclav Havel was a president of The Czech Republic as well as an accomplished playwright. He is known internationally as one of the top intellectuals of our century. Consider his definition of hope. "Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out." Hope is not about some futuristic picture that may or may not be true. It is a tangible result of our meaningful acceptance of present situations. Hope is the perfect balance of optimism and reality. It doesn't give way to reality because it is founded on reality, and it doesn't overshadow optimism because it leads us to it. It combines the structure and foundation of realism with the positive attitude and forward thinking of optimism.
No matter how much we progress in life, there will always be barriers in our way that knock us off balance. Hope gives us the power to find meaning in these experiences. So before we try to picture ourselves in a better place, find something to be grateful for where you are now. Before you tell someone else that everything will work out, help them learn the lessons life is currently trying to teach them.