The Difference in Dreams

I’m a terrible sleeper. I toss and turn, wake up multiple times, and sleep fitfully all night long. My husband is just the opposite. He can fall asleep in 15 seconds or less, and usually wakes up in the exact same position he fell asleep in. I’ve known for years that we are opposite in our sleep patterns, but I didn’t realize until today that we are totally opposite in how we dream! I have fascinating (and sometimes terrifying), detailed, and drama-filled dreams, full of people,  places, and action. My husband? Well, last night his dream was about two words – “artic” and “Arctic”! I kid you not…. no action, no images of frozen tundra, just analyzing the difference between the words and the correct usage of each.

Of course, I had to immediately google “arctic vs. artic” and learned there is indeed a true difference.  Arctic – pronouncing both c’s – is the correct word for describing an arctic weather blast of cold weather. Most people mispronounce the word, ignoring the first “c”, which led to the common spelling of artic. The two words have totally different meanings – artic is actually an informal abbreviation of a large truck – an “articulated lorry” – that has a tractor and trailer together as one unit. My husband and I will now be way more conscientious about correctly pronouncing Arctic – although I can’t recall when the word came up in any of my recent thoughts or conversations, unlike my hubby!

A humorous (and true) story that exemplifies the differences in our personalities, our strengths, and talents. As a certified Gallup Strengthsfinder trainer, I am intrigued by how each of us possess varying degrees of 34 different innate talents, and how we each have five main themes (talents) that identify how we approach problem-solving, how we perceive others, and how we look at the world around us. 

My husband (surprise, surprise!) has Analytical as one of his main themes. I am sure that is probably about number 33 for me! Understanding, and appreciating, the fact that each of us has different talents/strengths that drive us is crucial in building strong relationships and strong teams and working together in harmony. Being able to recognize the four talents that drive me (achiever, empathy, positivity, developer) and concentrate on maximizing them into true strengths is much more powerful than trying to work on the weaker areas (analytical comes immediately to mind!) that will never, ever be areas in which I can excel.

Each year, the September Orientation for the new Leadership Siouxland class dives into the Gallup Strengthsfinder and we focus on ensuring that each class participant understands the five themes that drive their decisions, their approach to situations, and their interaction with others. Throughout the nine-month program, we help the class to be cognizant of how to best use their talents, in collaboration with those of their team, to get the best results on projects or in discussions. It is always a true joy to watch program participants become more self-aware and blossom as they manage and develop their unique blend of talents.

Work groups can benefit greatly when members understand themselves, and others, better. Leadership Siouxland can come to your place of business and provide this specific training at a low cost and time commitment, helping your work groups to be more productive and engaged. Contact Leadership Siouxland for more information.

I am sure now that when you plan your trip to the North Pole, you will pronounce (and spell) the Arctic Circle correctly, thanks to my husband’s intrigue.  Sweet dreams, everyone…

By Peggy Smith, the executive director of Leadership Siouxland, an organization committed to developing diverse, passionate leaders that make a positive difference in Siouxland. She is driven to help people learn and understand themselves better and loves seeing the growth of individuals as they become the best version of themselves. Contact her at or at 712-898-8594.

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