A mentor is someone who has already been through the highs and lows of the path you plan to take and can expertly guide you around the worst of mistakes.
A great mentor is one who advises you, cautions you and yet motivates you to experiment and find out for yourself. But he or she is always there to guide you as you learn and grow.
I’ve come across some truly inspirational people at work and in life. I’ve learned so much from them. I’ve asked them for advice when I needed it, and they’ve been kind enough to guide my path. But I failed at making stronger ties that could survive with the inevitable distance. Ties that I wish I had when I’m deep in the trenches and looking for a way out. Books and blogs are good at the rescue, but not enough. A person who has been there and done that is your best bet.
A great mentor is a rare gem. If you’ve found one, consider yourself lucky. If you haven’t, start looking right away. It’s never too late for course correction. And if you can’t find one? Keep searching.
And, in the meantime, try to become the mentor you wish you had, and help someone else as best as you can. You are never too young or too old to be a mentor or a mentee.