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Being adaptive is a critical life skill that’s practiced at work, whatever job. Understanding this, you can take an interest in pretty much anything for some time and, as a result, become more interesting and accumulate experiences that will inform your next steps. As Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck points out, interests aren’t inherently fixed . Having a growth mindset, being open, is wiser than pinning your hopes on a single passion; it makes you more resilient, creative, intelligent, and happy.

Even if you’re not naturally passionate about serving cranky customers, for example, or reading corporate law documents, you can discover that these puzzles, too, present fascinating discoveries and solutions. Service work is a kind of diplomacy training ground that helps you in office jobs and beyond. Doing temporary legal document review projects in New York—considered by many to be the saddest drudgery of lawyering—ended up leading me to a job at Google headquarters in California. There I got to read the privileged mail of some of the world’s most powerful technologists, among other delicious private business records. Not only was it fascinating, it taught me all about the brave new world we live in.

Cultivating appreciation for the mundane is also good preparation for the dreamed-of moment of freedom. Assuming you can someday retire, you’ll need to be practiced at the fine art of keeping yourself busy and fulfilled. Your empty days may be very painful if you can’t manage to appreciate small pleasures.

It is what it is

The point of your work doesn’t have to be earth-shattering or dramatic. It just has to matter to you because you’re doing it, and some things must be done.

As the eighth-century Chinese Zen master Chao Chou told a monk who sought philosophical secrets, “ Wash your bowl .” The exchange is sometimes thought to explain the spiritual significance of simple tasks, but it’s not that complex.

“To attribute meaning to an event or to a lifetime of events is an expression of dissatisfaction with things as they are,” writes author and Chico State University Buddhist ethics professor Lin Jensen. What Zen teaches, by contrast, is that reality is sufficient. “We’re not here to represent something else. We’re here in our own right. A human being, or a garden hoe for that matter, is complete in itself,” writes Jensen. He believes Chao Chou is showing the monk that everything he seeks to know or be is already present in him.

Work is a game, like Danaher says. So treat it like grown-up play, not something to escape. It can be fun, but it doesn’t have to be so important or representative of anything. That’s okay too.

Given the precariousness of employment today, you may find yourself needing to do something new soon enough anyway. Then, when the robots take over the job you don’t hate, you’ll be flexible enough to figure out your next steps and do whatever else must be done with admirable aplomb.

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By Simon Doonan

Don’t do it! This is a desperate plea to middle-aged men everywhere regarding a certain plastic surgery procedure. Please, I beg you, whatever you do, do not get an eye lift. Why? Because if you do, you will end up looking like an old lesbian. You may even—gasp!—be mistaken for a member of … THE MUFFIA.

Permit me to explain: There I was, sitting on my deck out in Shelter Island enjoying a bit of global warming and cruising my new favorite website: . Yes, I was chuckling, but I was also looking for answers. What exactly was it that was making geezers like Jon Voight and Denis Leary look so much like old lesbians and, more importantly, how could I avoid it? Just as my vexations were peaking, my pal Vickie, a landscape designer, called to fill me in on the prognosis of a white pine that has been looking a bit peaked of late.

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As soon as she had finished opining about my pine, I lobbed the question du jour : “You are a gay woman: Can you please tell me what it is about George Steinbrenner, Tony Curtis and Bruce Jenner that makes them look so Sapphic and sisterly?”

“It’s really quite obvious,” she replied, in a why-are-gay- women-so-much-smarter-than-their-male-equivalents kind of way, “it’s the eye-lift!” I realized instantly that—by Georgette!—Vickie was onto something. A pudgy older guy with decreasing testosterone already looks a tad femmey, but the eye-lift is the coup de grace. Anytime an older dude gets a little up-tuck he immediately joins the sisters over in Carpet Village.

And what, you may well ask, is so terrible about looking like an old lesbian? O.K. Nothing. Nada. There’s nothing wrong with looking as if you are riding a one-way ticket to the end of the line and the last stop is the Dinah Shore Weekend. Absolutely nothing. So why the alarmist warnings? Why am I begging Al Gore—who is already starting to look a bit Gertrude Stein-ish—not to get an eye lift before he goes to pick up that Nobel Prize?

I’ll tell you why: Because the lesbian power club—the Muffia, as it’s affectionately known in West Hollywood—is already strong enough without recruiting any more of these machers , politicos and aging entertainment honchos.

Permit me, yet again, to explain: In the past, gay men have always occupied—some would say “hogged”—the spotlight. While we poofters sparkled and shrieked our way through the last century, the lesbians languished in the Well of Loneliness. As preposterous and revolting as male gayness was to society (see Victim, starring Dirk Bogarde), lezzie activities were deemed a thousand times more unacceptable (see The Children’s Hour, starring Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine). Even through the process of Gay Liberation, the dykes on bikes were always just a warm-up for male faggotry.

Focus Areas

Priority will be given to proposals that align with one or more of the following focus areas:


Eligible applicants are invited to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) that captures all the essentials of the proposal using the template provided. The Stewardship Partners will evaluate LOI applications for advancement to the Pre-proposal stage. Pre-proposals selected to move forward will be developed into full proposals by a Development Team consisting of applicant team members, a Steering Committee and a project development mentor.

The Steering Committee and mentor will contribute targeted networking and program development expertise. This will enable a better perspective of the challenge and the capability to devise more effective and sustainable solutions. Working with a Steering Committee and mentor to deliver a final proposal is a required activity for all selected pre-proposals. Applicants will need to set aside sufficient staff time for full proposal completion. Stewardship Partners will invest in full proposals pending final approval.

For assistance with any requirement of this solicitation, please contact Mark McCann at .

How important is it that a program involve research, teaching, or service or could it just propose to help the community?

As stated in the Call for Letter of Intent (LOI), the proposed initiative should involve engaged, collaborative teaching, research and/or service activities benefiting the community with impactful, sustainable programs while advancing the scholarly goals of the university.

I think that I have a great concept but there are gaps in my proposal and team. Will the Connect and Collaborate Grants Program help address those holes?

The Connect and Collaborate Grants Program is a competitive process. Past history indicates that, all else being equal, proposals with the fewest gaps and more established relationships will have the advantage.

If you are committed to the idea and feel confident that you can develop relationships quickly, you may be ready to submit a LOI. If not, consider applying for the next round of grants. The Connect and Collaborate Grants Program would be glad to assist you in building relationships if it can. Send an email with your request to Mark McCann ( ) for assistance with connections.

What types of programs fit a design grant?

Programs at the design stage are beginning to be defined with a focus on proof that the program concept has merit both in terms of value to the community and scholarship. In this stage, the needs of target population groups and program requirements are identified, program goals consistent with the missions of the university and program partners are specified, and a program that can meet these goals is crafted and assessed for value creation.

Activities supported by design grants include, but are not limited to:

What types of programs fit an implementation grant?

In this stage, the initial focus is on a successful launch, then running the program in a formal fashion, but with a continual focus on improvement. New opportunities and challenges will arise often requiring the rethinking of the program model, which in turn will require a return to assessment activities such as feasibility and marketing studies. The outcome of implementation is an established program where products or services have come to fruition with their value reinforced through evidence of impact and demand.

Implementation activities include:

What types of programs fit an expansion grant?

Expansion grants support scale-up, or otherwise strengthening, of a proven program's infrastructure and capacity to produce positive impacts. The goal of expansion is to add new products or services for existing customers or expand existing offerings into new geographic regions or target populations. Because expansion breaks new ground' it requires planning, research, and validation of new features, which should be complementary to existing experiences and capabilities, while building on the tried and true foundation established during the implementation phase.

Activities supported by expansion grants include, but are not limited to:

I am not sure if the stage of my program fits best with a design grant or an implementation grant. Should I submit two applications one to each program stage to cover the bases?

No, you should only submit one to the program stage you think is most appropriate. If the Stewardship Partners think it fits better in another category they will move it there. Selecting the wrong program stage will not eliminate your proposal from consideration.

Who can be a partner on the proposal? Are partners limited to university faculty or can individuals from external groups or organizations also be team members?

The team leader must be a current Ohio State University faculty or staff member. Team members may include other university members and/or partners from external public/private organizations. Consult the Call for LOI to verify specific team requirements for each focus area.

Who qualifies as a community partner?

Community partners can be for-profit organizations (which exist primarily to make a profit); nonprofit organizations (which exist to provide a service to the community); and non-OSU universities, colleges, and schools.

Does the proposed initiative need to involve a member of the Stewardship Partners (E.g., The Columbus Foundation or United Way of Central Ohio)?

No, Stewardship Partners are partners in development and funding, but they are not required to be a part of your team.

I'm interested in submitting a proposal with a team member who is already involved in another Connect and Collaborate Grants Program funding request. Is this allowable?

Yes, individuals may be members of more than one Connect and Collaborate Grants Program application.

Can a Connect and Collaborate Grants Program proposal have co-leads?

Yes. An eligible application may have multiple team leads. One of these individuals must be designated as the point of contact for the grant and to facilitate communication with team members.

Does a student group need an OSU faculty or staff member to apply?

Yes. Student organizations must find a faculty or staff member willing to serve as team leader for the application and grant, if awarded.

How much cost share is 50% of the final award amount?

As an example, if the funding request is for $50,000, then the cost share must be equal to or greater than $25,000 (50% of the requested amount) with at least 1/2 of the cost share ($12,500) in cash. In this case, the total budget for the proposed project is at least $75,000.

What is the difference between cash and in-kind cost share? What qualifies as cash cost share? What qualifies as in-kind cost share?

Cash cost share is money (funds) that can be used to purchase goods and services directly in support of the grant program. In-kind contributions are a kind of giving in which, instead of giving money to buy needed goods and services, the goods and services themselves are given (for example: use of a facility or equipment; team member time, etc.).

When does the commitment of cost share from a source need to be established?

The source of cost share must be established before funds are awarded. The firmer the commitment beforehand, the more competitive the program. For the LOI phase of the program, an application must only show estimates of anticipated cost-share and indicate sources. If a LOI is advanced to the pre-proposal phase, teams will be asked to submit letters from specific sources stating an intent to provide funding. These letters are not required, but make proposals more competitive.

Can funding from an existing grant count as cost share in a Connect and Collaborate Grant proposal budget?

It depends on the requirements of the existing grant. If the purpose/activities of the existing grant strongly aligns with your proposal and contributes to its objectives, it may be appropriate. If you have some flexibility with your grant dollars, it may also be appropriate. Teams should consult with the source of grant funding to ensure this is permissible.

When will award money be distributed?

Funds will be available in May 2018. Funded programs will receive 60% of the funding up front and the remaining 40% after completing a mid-project review.

How will award money be distributed?

Award funds will be transferred to an established university program account identified by the grant team. Decisions on the appropriate use of the funds will be the responsibility of the Team Lead(s) and their designated fiscal agent(s).

Do the funds requested from the Connect and Collaborate Grants Program need to include indirect costs?

How much funding detail is required in the budget section of the narrative?

At the LOI stage, just overall estimates of the amount requested from the Connect and Collaborate Grants Program and cost share amounts are required. Line item estimates are not required. If teams are asked to submit a pre-proposal, then they will be required to submit budget line estimates and explanations of general uses of funds, that are sufficient enough to inform evaluators of how the funds will be allocated and used.

Is there a specific template that applicants should adhere to for the LOI?

Yes, applicants should use the LOI template found here . The template is an editable Word document that outlines all of the information required in the LOI.


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