When I first joined the profession, I had a mentor who refused to give me straight-forward answers to my questions / queries. He always had the same answer, "Google it. Find the solution yourself." I hated him for that. Sometimes he used to explain that it was for my own good (blah, blah, the usual stuff) and not because he didn't know or couldn't give me the answer straight-away. I still thought it was just that I was too smart to ask all the right (complicated) questions and he didn't have the answers.
(Of course, that is a bit too exaggerated; he used to help me out with complicated stuff when he knew I was blocked and couldn't move further; he wasn't a sore mentor; he was a good one, in his own way.)

Several years later, I find myself giving the same answers and advice to juniors I mentor. It turns out that push to figure things out on my own did me a lot of good. I'm able to approach any problem head-on and not freak out even if the specs or the deadlines seem surreal. I know how to "figure" answers to problems that I come across for the first time. In the process you learn a lot of stuff that "keep you ahead of the curve and not grow old".

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    My last Boss always asked me what I did to find the solution. In the beginning when I got stuck he pointed me in the right direction. After a while he couldn't do that anymore because I exhausted all the ways he knew himself. He still was way more experienced than me, taught me a lot and I was happy working with him.
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    @Wolle Well, this is the exact same kind of guy we're talking about.

    This is the unsaid ending to the story I just explained.

    I thought to keep this a 'rant' even though there was a lot of good that I learnt / got / absorbed from him. He'd always be my best motivator (even though he was never a good manager; in terms of 'managing').
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