The popular quote life is a sum of all our choices is NOT by Albert Camus.
I have checked through numerous Albert Camus‘ books, lectures and interviews and I have yet to locate this particular line.
Interestingly, this sum of all our choices quote is extensively attributed to this French Algerian philosopher, author, and journalist Albert Camus.
But none of them mentioned the source of this quote.
As usual, you can find this wrongly ascribed quotation in many popular quotation sites, books and magazines.
Who said life is the sum of all your choices?
Well, this trite line is so straight forward, bordering on cliche.
I think anyone could have said or written this quote.
In fact, there are so many similar variations of this pithy phrase all over the place all this time.
Frankly, the meaning of this quote is not that profound or unique.
What does life is the sum of all your choices mean?
Simply it means all the decisions and choices which we have made (or did not make), will determine the kind of life we have now.
As a result, we all have to live or deal with this conscious negative emotional reaction called regret; with all those wrong decisions or choices we have made, abandoned or missed.
Similarly, French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre also said, we are “sum of our actions”.
Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realizes himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is.
“l’homme n’est rien d’autre que son projet, il n’existe que dans la mesure où il se réalise, il n’est donc rien d’autre que l’ensemble de ses actes, rien d’autre que sa vie.” (French)
(Existentialism And Humanism By Jean-Paul Sartre, Translation From The French And Introduction By Philip Mairet, London Eyre Methuen, 1973, P. 41) source
(The quote in French is found in: L’Existentialisme Est Un Humanisme Par Jean-Paul Sartre, Paris: Nagel, 1965, P. 55) source
Life Is A Sum Of All Our Choices
By the way, here are some quotations which expound the same message: we are the result of our choices.
“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” – John C. Maxwell
(Talent Is Never Enough: Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent By John C. Maxwell, Thomas Nelson, 2007, When Is Talent Alone Enough?, You Can Do It!, P. 10) source
“First we make a choice. Then our choices make us.” – Andy Andrews
(The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success By Andy Andrews, Seven, Thomas Nelson, 2002, P. 101) source
“I think life is a matter of choices and that wherever we are, good or bad, is because of choices we make.” – Lou Holtz
(Lou Holtz on Marriage, His Catholic Faith and Notre Dame By Trent Beattie, National Catholic Register, September 26, 2012) source
“Everything that happens to us is the result of the choices we make.” – Lou Holtz
(Winning Every Day: The Game Plan For Success By Lou Holtz, Foreword By Harvey Mackey, Introduction: The Game Plan For Success, Harper Collins, 2009) source
“our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities.” – Myles Munroe
(Understanding Your Place In God’s Kingdom: Your Original Purpose For Existence By Myles Munroe, Destiny Image Publishers, 2011, Ch. One, The Priority Of The Kingdom, Rediscovering The Priority) source
“We’re all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale, most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices.” – Woody Allen
(Dialogue from Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes And Misdemeanors”, 5:56-6:22) source
Note: The line is actually a voice-over uttered by psychoanalyst Martin S. Bergmann who played as Professor Louis Levy, a humanistic philosopher at the end of the movie.
The quote from the movie transcript.
This is Martin S. Bergmann’s first scene in the movie. (4:10 -4:46)
Note: By the way, you can watch the full movie “Crimes And Misdemeanors” with English subtitles” over HERE.