“First learn stand, then learn fly” is the iconic dialog from the 1982 movie Karate Kid in which Mr. Miyagi mentors a boy called Daniel to get through life's hardships successfully. Albeit fictional, the character of Mr. Miyagi embodies the essence of what a mentor should be.
The role of a mentor is to provide guidance. S/he will typically be someone who is successful and has excelled in that sphere of life wherein you are either struggling or are too scared to venture alone. Be it career wise or in your personal life, a mentor should be someone who exemplifies the goals you want to achieve.
Choosing the right mentor for yourself is the key to the degree of success you achieve in your personal and professional life.
One of the first things to consider while choosing your mentor is the level of respect you have for the person you plan to approach. To bank on someone's experience and expertise, respect is a prerequisite. You cannot follow the advice of someone you don't respect.
Needless to say, the person you zero-in on should be successful in the field you aspire to excel in but another important aspect in choosing a mentor is to ensure that s/he is willing to mentor you. If s/he is not willing or if their willingness is half-hearted, you can rest assured that you will not always be getting their best advice.
Resilience is an important characteristic you should look for in your mentor. S/he will not only be someone who will guide you to make good decisions but should also be able to keep you motivated when you falter and urge you to keep going despite the setbacks.
Try to choose someone who shares the same set of values as you. However, s/he should not nature wise be your replica. If you are the kind who always plays it safe, then a risk taker in the form of your mentor can help you take bolder decisions. If you are an introvert, then an extroverted mentor can help expand your social circle thus building useful contacts.
Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs, Bill Gates has Warren Buffet and Sundar Pichai has Larry Page. All these famous mentees are currently at the height of their careers. With a good mentor by your side you can have the world at your feet.