I reckon that living matter manifests three innate imperatives not evident in inorganic matter. If you are a life-form of any kind, from microbium to human, then
1. you must sustain your life or be sustained by others: food and protection from harm are fundamental;
2. you must perpetuate life, either by procreation or protection of your kind;
3. you must enjoy your life, in however rudimentary a way, so as to sustain the will to live and the struggle to survive.
Life as a whole expresses one other imperative: to grow and proliferate, that is, to become more complex and manifold in form. Individuals are impelled to mature and species to evolve, producing adaptive and promising variations.