Having a guide / mentor who helps you get the vision is one of the most important things that could happen to a person in one's life.
I always cry aloud on what is the importance of exposure and how it matters. A mentor kicks in exactly at this stage. He is the one who gives you the correct exposure to the outside world when you are still growing. When you are grasping for the newness of the outside world. Many people find mentors in their parents may be father / mother, many find them in their teacher, many in their Professors, many in the colleagues. The person may be different but the role stays the same.
Exceptionally fortunate are those kids, who are born in a family of well educated, well connected people where there is large awareness and exposure right from the early age, from the time when you are groping yourself with new child like enthusiasm and questions, the role of mentors grows manifold. Here is your chance to grow to your potential, develop intellectual curiosity, ask the right questions and most important get most of them answered in the most appropriate manner. Fortunate are those kids who get such early exposure.
Fortunate are those kids who get an outstanding teacher who makes them believe in themselves and in their abilities, when they will grow up to face the changing world. This teacher may not be at all well knowledgeable, what matters is how he makes you interested in whatever he knows and teaches. Such early stage development and confidence brings a lot of different attitude in a kid's mind later.
Getting a visionary Professor during ones formal higher education is equally important as this is where the "Big Vision" of what one wants to do in one's life later comes into picture. This is the critical stage when you can transform those ideas that were bubbling into real life work. This is where one can get correct guidance to what direction to go in one's life and what vision to have and how to achieve it. This is where you learn how to address the correct problems and how to find the correct solutions or at least make a sincere wise attempt towards them.
Exceptionally fortunate are those who get a spouse who is equally enthusiastic about his / her other halves interests and take pride in carrying them forward. He / She also acts as a mentor to guide you during your troubled times, when you need direction, when you seek some one so close to yourself to whom you can confide in your personal space and personal thoughts and on whom you can rely and trust when the entire world seems to be going against you.
Fortunate are those who get some mentor of some sort during atleast one of these stages. And I would say unfortunate are those who even after realizing the importance of these stages could not get one of these. Really unfortunate are those who even after getting one of these, could not make use of them for their betterment under their ego and over-confidence.
A correct mentor is very important. He / She can make your life great if you find the right one.