Markov Chain

“Markov Chains” is a mathematical notion referring to the process of making predictions based solely on the present state of affairs, independently from history. The only dependency there is is between adjacent elements. In other words, “now” determines the next period and the next period is dependent only on the “now”.

This predictability property was explored by Andrey Markov, a Russian mathematician who wrote a paper about it in 1906. He was not the only one to have paid attention though, as I shall point out later.

A famous Markov chain is the so-called “drunkard’s walk”, a random walk, where at each step, the position may change by +1 or −1 with equal probability.

One step forward or one step backward depends only on the current position of the drunkard, not on the manner in which he got into it. In real life terms this translates also into the saying “What got you here will not get you there.”


 Anotion related to Markov chains and means that the waiting time until a certain event happens does not depend on how much time has elapsed already. In real life terms this can translate into the timing of your next job: it is not a function of how long you’ve been searching or how many rejections you have received. To quote Gary Vee, the marketing guru, you are just one piece of good job away from being successful. Even the most well-known people were unknown until they produces the piece of work that made them known.

Why is this cool to know? Because the neural connections your brain will make next do not depend on the previous ones! Your next state, mental or physical is a function of your current one only, not on what preceded it!

And here comes the Mindfulness!

Mindfulness is the technique that captures the memorylessnes of the Markov chain in order to influence the next neural connections of your associations. Now it all falls into place, right!?

The ancient Stoics knew this, the Buddhist knew this and there is a reason for why the modern mindfulness hype is so huge! And you do not have to focus on your breath to be mindful of where and how you are right now, but it helps. Focusing on your breath makes you aware that you are breathing now. And as long as you are breathing, there is going to be a next period.

No matter what got you where you are now, your current state is the only factor that counts in relation to your next state. Pay attention to how you are, who you are, when and where you are, now, to influence the probability of your next step being forward rather than backward.

And even if it is backward, there is still a next period that is dependent solely on where you are right at that moment.

I don’t know about you, but to me this awareness of how huge “now” is very empowering!

You cannot lose because as long as you are breathing, you are in charge of your next step and really, this is all it takes to get you to the one after it!

Teodora Rudolph


Guest Blog Post provided by: Teodora Rudolph

For more information on her coaching and job seeker services, please click her website link above or check out another of her posts.


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