Are You a Fish Trying to Climb a Tree?

Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Monday, February 21, 2022
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Are You a Fish Trying to Climb a Tree?

What will your results be after taking the world's most accurate personality test? → Find out.

Tags: #psychometrics #wellbeing #ikigai

Have you ever tried teaching a goldfish how to climb a tree? Can you train a cat to ride a bicycle?

We value perseverance in the face of adversity. The tenacity to push on in spite of challenges is respected and admired.

But do you honor those who insist on pushing against "pull" doors, no matter how hard they try?

There is something to be said for hard work, but only when that work is smart as well.

Can a Fish Climb a Tree?

We've all heard the saying, "Work smarter, not harder." The smartest way you can work is to devote yourself to a vocation that lines up with your talents and aptitudes. Notice I didn't say "lines up to your training and experience."

Have you ever worked in a job that required something that wasn't a natural part of who you are? Perhaps you were called upon to be creative yet you don't seem to have a single creative bone in your body (not even your funny bone).

Or maybe you needed to spend an uncomfortable amount of time sitting in a cubicle or office by yourself, analyzing figures in spreadsheets and reports when you'd be much happier creatively solving challenging problems or connecting with others.

I'm not talking about little things we all do as part of our jobs that we'd rather avoid but don't really eat up much of our day. I'm describing the fundamental aspects of what you do.

It is this kind of misalignment between self and task that hearkens to hoping a goldfish can scale a sequoia or getting Mr. Socks to pedal a mountain bike.

This misalignment exists when a significant deviation arrises between what you are meant to do — your greatest opportunity to positively contribute to the world — and the needs and demands of the role you occupy.

You are a fish asked to climb a tree, and it is a demoralizing feeling.

Stop exercising the futility of going against your own grain.

But how?

Find Your Grain

Find what your grain is and what direction it flows. Start with the fundamentals. Are you a creative person stuck in an analytical role? Are you a people person caught in a position devoid of meaningful contact with the outside world?

First, know thyself.

The fundamentals of who you are can be easy to spot, but you need more detail than creative vs. analytical, community vs. independent.

Discover what psychologists and human behavior experts call your psychometric profile. This profile describes your innate emotional hardwiring. Think of it as your personality's DNA.

The most accurate way to discover your innate hardwiring is to take an accurate psychometric assessment. Many abound but they are not all created equal, and few provide enough accuracy to be worth their cost. You may have heard of a few: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, The DiSC, Enneagram, Big Five, etc. These are big-money assessments that generate a lot of revenue for their respective companies and the consultants who sell and administer them, but do they work?

Like a Ouija board, these famous personality tests can be entertaining yet are more often than not mysterious and produce inconsistent, often misleading results.

What you need is something solid, accurate, and produces reliable and consistent results.

What you need is the Core Values Index.

Psychometric Accuracy

Psychometric assessments and their ilk are measured and judged by their repeat reliability. If you take the assessment now and again in five years, how much will your results differ? The CVI has been measured in longitudinal studies to have a repeat reliability of 97.7%1. Nothing else comes close.

Now that you've chosen the best psychometric assessment available, what's the next step?

How are you hardwired?

Your quest is to find out how you are hardwired. This will help you answer the question: What kind of vocation will best suit your innate personality?

The CVI will tell you how you are hardwired. It will outline the kind of activities that will feel the most comfortable and appealing to you and which ones won't. It will describe how you learn most efficiently. It will describe in simple words the ways you automatically react to stress and conflict, and how to effectively and positively respond.

The CVI won't tell you what job is right for you — at least not directly. By revealing how you are hardwired, how you learn, how you communicate, how you react to and resolve conflict, you can devise your own path forward, a path that is paved with your own happiness and well being.

Discover if you are intuitive or cognitive, community-minded or independent, practical or creative. Learn how you see and approach the world as you move through it: with confident power and faith in your ability to handle any situation? From a position of connectedness and truth? As a problem-solver, compassionately seeking to overcome any challenge? Or by seeking knowledge and sharing that with others through the lens of justice?

The truth is, we are not classified and blocked off into just a few personality types. The CVI, for instance, describes four core value energies ("Builder", "Merchant", "Innovator", and "Banker") but instead of identifying you as one of those four, it accurately measures the ratio of those four energies that dwell within you.

You are a combination of your innate, emotional hardwiring — your psychometric profile — and the sum of your experiences.

Even your psychometric profile represents a specific ratio of the four energies described here, with millions of unique combinations possible — of which you are one. It is this combination of experiences and emotional DNA that makes you truly unique.

Get informed. Take the Core Values Index and discover your psychometric profile. Take that knowledge and reflect it against the opportunities out there and see what takes hold in your vision.

Find the path that is best for you and stop wasting futile effort going against your own grain.


[1] Source: Seattle Research Partners, 2014 [PDF]

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

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Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in information technology, software development, and project management spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing he is an aspiring multi-instrumentalist and composer, a virtual pilot in a home-built flight simulator, and a cyclist.

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