Uber life-coach Tony Robbins talks about the 6 human needs (psychological) that drive all behavior (read more HERE). The video, about 20 minutes is below. The 6 basic human needs as outlined by Robbins are:
Basically, all behavior can be tied to attempts to meet these needs. Combine this school of thought with our attempts to meet our biological needs and we become just a big need-machine. ;)
My commentary is below and mostly just an observation that there is no such thing as a human-only need. We are part of nature, from nature and will return to nature when we are done. This flies in the face of belief that we are special, chosen, different or separated from the natural world. We've been modernized and religified for so long, our basic, natural-born selves are long-forgotten under a pile of made-up constructions from politics to universities.
Looking at things from an evolutionary standpoint, I think you can find those same needs embedded within nature. Because we are from and a part of nature, this would make sense, no?
CERTAINTY - This is found in all living organisms and you learned about it long ago in science class: Homeostasis. From our own physiological processes to the balance found between the Earth's temperature and ocean currents, all living systems need certainty in order to function. Our autonomic systems (heart rate, breathing) give us certainty that we will survive the day. Photosynthesis happens automatically in plants, as long as the sun rises (and with certainty it will for a long time).
UNCERTAINTY/VARIETY - But when temperatures are too static, when daily tasks are too boring, when a group of individuals know each other too well, variety must be introduced. From learning new things, to making new friends; humans definitely search out novelty. This is reflected in nature as well. A mountain lion will increase and move its hunting territory as it explores the environment. Evolutionary processes are the most interesting showcase of variety and how variety lends a hand where survival (certainty) is necessary. A small adaptation can mean survival for a whole species. And adaptations are always a response to the ever-changing environment, which seems to present uncertainty on a regular basis.
Nature highlights the NEED for certainty and uncertainty in every system, and showcases the importance of both in every moment.
SIGNIFICANCE - Uniqueness is on display in nature almost everywhere. In my backyard right now, a small pomegranate tree grows and somehow it decided to make one, very large and lovely-looking pomegranate. Flowers, unique from bud to bud, are full of significance. From species to species, whether it's flora or fauna, special traits and uniqueness are showcased everywhere. No one human, no one dog is exactly the same. A wide gene pool protects most species from disease and increases hardiness (survivability).
LOVE - Humans are not unique in their ability to love. Many mammals show this same trait. There is interesting research pointing to some consciousness and connection between plants as well. The fact that some mushroom & fungi species create connections between trees in forests and help run chemical messengers from tree-to-tree is certainly interesting. Is that a display of care and love from the fungi to the trees? Human and other mammal biology is set up to give and receive love as much as it's set up to walk, breath and see.
CONTRIBUTION - This is built into the holistic systems of nature. Rain that falls from the sky is contributing to plant growth, and plant growth contributes to the gases that help stabilize the air within our atmosphere. A deer that dies will contribute meat to predators, and flesh and bacteria that improve dirt quality.
Most likely, there is a root connection to nature within every observed need and subsequent behavior.