Since the financial crisis of 2008, the whole world is focused on muddling through it. Just ask the Eurozone, proposing new rescue packages almost every other day. Or the US government, tinkering here and there and everywhere. People are muddling through their lives, their careers, their daily life.

Are we muddling through because we’re stuck in the now?

All of us have become so caught up in the now that we’re forgetting important lessons from the past and losing the ability to develop long-term visions to work towards in the future. The constant documenting of the now, keeps us hand-cuffed to THIS moment, not the moment that passed or the moment we envision. In 2009 we said: “This is so 2008.” In 2012 we say: “This was so 2 minutes ago.”

What will we say in 2015: “That was so one second ago?”

The commercial is ridiculous because the benefits for having information 10 seconds earlier than others seem so trivial. But at the core of this commercial is one important insight: People value the “I said/heard it/wrote about it first” mentality. We are more focused on being the first to say something about the last 10 minutes that we are forgetting any lessons to be learned from the last 5,000 years.

We tend to forget that human nature hasn’t changed that much, just the way we communicate now and in the future is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Much of the financial crisis was caused by the focus on making millions today and not thinking about how to build wealth for the long term. CMOs have now 1-2 years to make a mark – why would they focus on long-term strategies?

We need to focus less on the short term and incremental changes. Instead, we need to be focused on building things for the long term. We need to implement important, business-driving measurements and be accountable to doing what is right and setting those BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS GOALS. More importantly: We need to become better partners with our clients to move the business forward, not  just going through the motions.

We can accomplish so much more if we continue learning from the past and thinking past tomorrow for where we want things to go.

Muddling through or figuring it out just keeps us stuck in the now. Time to get unstuck.