Not starting the work which is not in our capacity is the first sign of 'buddhi' (Intelligence?!). If we start the work then carrying that work to it's logical conclusion is the second sign of 'buddhi'.
In case of normal individuals the words follow the meaning. But in case of great sages ('Rishis') the meaning follows their words! Normally a person thinks of the meaning first and then frames the sentence as per that meaning. But in case of the great sages like Vashishta, Vishwamitra the casually uttered words by them would obtain a very deep meaning. This subhAshita gives us an insight in the intellectual level that was obtained by our ancient sages.
People become intelligent to give the advice ('upadesh') to other's when they are in distress. But the people forget that same intelligence while they themselves are in the difficulty.
This a very nice subhAshita which many of us may have experienced personally! What we have to realise is that we have to put ourselves in the place of that person and then think. Like in english we use the phrase that you have put your foot in the other's shoe!!